Hub for reliable, timely news about COVID-19 pandemic

Concern over firing of Career Youth Development leader

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Members of Career Youth Development are concerned with the organization's future after the Board of Directors ousted their Executive Director earlier in September.

Three of the eight members of the "Focused on my Future" project sat down with FOX6 News on Saturday, September 28th to discuss the current state of CYD.

"There's way less structure. Nobody knows what they're doing," said Donovan Harris.

"You get a funny feeling when you walk in the building," said Shaquille Jackson. "It just ain't right, you know, it ain't right."

The young men say their feelings were caused by the abrupt firing of Executive Director James Ferguson, who confirms he was dismissed earlier this month but declined to be interviewed.

"At first I thought it was just talk, like, it was a joke because I couldn't see that happening. Then when I found out it was true, it was like losing your mentor," said D'vonte Welch.

Multiple sources have told FOX6 that Ferguson was removed following numerous disagreements between he and the Board of Directors. Efforts to reach board members, including State Representative Leon Young, have been unsuccessful.

Harris, Jackson and Welch say Ferguson personally guided them in the program, which aims to take juvenile offenders and assist them in launching careers.

"He took us to the other levels in our lives that, without him, we would not have reached them -- but he skipped past a lot of obstacles that were holding us back," said Harris.

Although Harris is almost finished with the program, he says he's worried about those in line to take his place.

"I care about them and who's going to be leading over them and the direction they're going to be headed in," said Harris.

The CYD website still lists Ferguson as the Executive Director. Sources tell FOX6 the Vice Chairman of the Board is currently acting at the Interim Director.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.