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Our Mission

The St. John Community Development Corporation (SJCDC) is a state chartered, 501 (C) (3) organization founded in 1998 out of the benevolence ministry of the St. John AME Zion Church.  SJCDC has a diverse board of directors recruited from the business community, parents, the church and other community organizations.  The SJCDC mission is fulfilled through fostering economic development and improving social services.  The organization believes in:  1) providing social and educational services that help to create positive change in individuals and families; and 2) creating and facilitating economic development opportunities through real estate and workforce development.  SJCDC provides transitional housing for men who are in need of shelter at the St. John House for Men.  This program also provides assistance with securing employment and developing a financial plan for a smooth transition to independent living.

St. John CDC established the S.A.Y. – Save a Youth Program in 2005.  Over the past 9 years SJCDC has provided an afterschool program and summer camp for youth in grades K-8, serving more than 1300 children.  In August 2010, the CDC was awarded the 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) grant by the NC DPI and again in August 2014, a four year grant focused on providing quality afterschool programs and family resource centers.  The S.A.Y. afterschool program serves more than 250 students in 2 sites in Wilson County through the afterschool program.  The S.A.Y. summer camp also serves more than 100 students.  The S.A.Y. programs focus on academic achievement, character development, life skills and vocational skill building.  S.A.Y.  incorporates the gang prevention program into all of the youth programs.  The S. A. Y.  Vocational 


Program serves Wilson County Youth ages 14-17 that are court-involved, identified as at-risk of gang involvement or are at risk of academic failure or delinquency.  The program provides more than 30 youth with vocational skills training, apprenticeship opportunities, social skill building, life skills and academic support.  SJCDC continues to provide the S.A.Y. Vocational Program with support from The Governor’s Crime Commission of North Carolina and the local Juvenile Crime Prevention Council.  The St. John CDC is currently providing 24 jobs (both full and part-time) through its youth programs and the CDC office.

S.A.Y. CCLC Program


The St. John CDC continues to provide needed services to the community by way of the S.A.Y. (Save A Youth) Programs. Presently, we have four components to the S.A.Y. Programs. The S.A.Y. After School 21st Century Learning Center has an emphasis on math and reading. We serve more than 300 children each year.  The S.A.Y. Gang Prevention is a program committed to helping youth to avoid gang involvement by encouraging positive behavior.  The S.A.Y. Summer Camp has served over 900 children and youth for the past eight years.  This summer camp provides meaningful activities for our youth such as: Math, Reading, Computer Technology, Arts and Crafts, Swimming, Bowling, Skating, Culinary Arts, Character Education, Gang Prevention, Sports and Field Trips.

The 21st CCLC program is authorized under Title IV, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  The program provides after-school and summer camp academic enrichment opportunities for children attending low performing schools to help the students meet local and state academic standards in Reading, Mathematics, and Science.  At the end of the 2014-2015 school year, 96.7% of student participants tested in the afterschool program performed at or above grade level.

In addition, programs may provide activities for youth development, STEAM (Science, Technology, Arts, and Math), character education, counseling, gang prevention, music, and recreation to enhance the program’s academic components.  Literacy and community outreach components are also supported through the program.

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