If you live in Charleston and go downtown on a weekend, chances are you’ve been approached by a little boy trying to sell you his handmade palmetto roses. Chances are he’s black, and chances are you’ve said no, and gone on with your walk or your fancy dinner. Each of those little boys has a … Read more


Visibility is key to a healthy childhood. Kids who feel invisible, unseen, tend to either fade into the background, or blaze forward into extremes. Both are dangerous paths to tread, with many obstacles waiting to drag you down. This is the story of Tyrone, a quiet, private child who never had anyone tell him there … Read more


For our first post in the #tlpstories series we sat down with our student Byron to learn about his story. We talked about his childhood, the decisions he made that kept him cycling in and out of prison, what brought him to Turning Leaf, and where he is taking his life now. His is a … Read more


We are so proud of how far you’ve come, Sinclair! Thank you for sharing your story. * * * *  Sinclair’s childhood was loud: seventeen people lived crowded together in his grandmother’s 5-bedroom house. He was surrounded by sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, but most especially his parents and his granny. Granny’s rules were strict, he … Read more


Sometimes rough childhoods lead people to criminal acts. Sometimes a lack of family, support, safe housing and warm clothes leads to heartache. Not always though. Sometimes it’s the lure of a life lived in the “extra” lane that sets you on a rollercoaster that has the highest highs you can imagine…but also the lowest lows. … Read more


Drew is one of our youngest students. At only 23 years old, he’s seen more of life’s ups and downs than many people more than twice his age. In fact, he’s seen enough to know there has to be a better way. He’s at Turning Leaf to find it. This is Drew’s story. Growing up … Read more


Winard has been a student at Turning Leaf for almost four months. He’s nearing graduation and I didn’t want his story to slip past me. After all these years, sometimes I have a sixth sense about the men I work for. Sometimes I feel that there’s a story to be told. I asked and he … Read more


Through the past weeks here on the Turning Leaf page, we’ve talked to a number of our current students. We’ve learned what causes young men to take the path toward crime, and we’ve talked about the many tragedies encountered in the lifestyle. But what does life look like for a Turning Leaf graduate? How does … Read more