From Young Adults Program to Department of Public Safety

By Amanda Moses

Brooklynite Ralph Cayemitte has always dreamed of working in a field where he could serve and protect others. As a child he imagined that one day he would enlist in the military, and from that point on he prepared himself for that future. However, obstacles in life prevented this from happening, leaving Cayemitte devastated.

Falling into a depression—which he described as a defeated darkness— Cayemitte isolated himself. Until one day his friend, Jomar, told him about a new program that opened up at Spring Creek Towers (SCT) called Young Adults. Intrigued by a program that offers a safe space for young adults to socialize, plan their future and enjoy Japanese Anime, Cayemitte gave the program a try and he says it was the best choice he ever made.

“Jomar suggested we should go over and try the program because we needed free time to enjoy ourselves,” Cayemitte said.

The Young Adults Program, helmed under the Department of Public Safety (DPS), and co-founded by Eileen Level and DPS Sergeant Charles Royster, was created in 2022 and utilizes the Teen Central lounge in the Brooklyn Sports Club (BSC) to offer free recreational activities to adults ages 18-25.

It was here that Sergeant Royster learned about Cayemitte’s desire to help others, so he took the 22-year-old under his wing and helped him forge a new path. Together they worked on furthering Cayemitte’s security certifications, helping him to become a peace officer (an individual who works in either the public or private sector and is certified to carry a service weapon and has the power to arrest someone).

“As it has and continues to be the mission of the DPS Young Adults Program to provide a safe and healthy environment for our members to grow, learn, plan, or simply, just be; as they figure out the next step in the development of their life’s journey. We are happy to share one of our success stories: Raphy Cayamitte is a young father of two that found out about us by word of mouth through friends and residents of SCT,” Roster said.

Two years later, Cayemitte, who is also a father of two children, can proudly say that he is officially a member of the Spring Creek Towers Department of Public Safety (DPS). Now known as Officer Cayemitte, he credits the Young Adults Program as providing him a light at the end of a dark tunnel.

“When the opportunity finally arrived for Ralph to apply for a position to DPS we all rooted for him and knew he would be the best choice for the job given his family oriented demeanor,” Level said.

According to Royster, Cayemitte’s success is one part of why the program was created. It offers those in an underserved community an opportunity to relax, grow, and learn from their mentors and fellow members.

“Ralph’s commitment to his new and growing family and his desire to provide for them caught my attention, and I saw an opportunity to help this young family to grow and flourish,” Royster said. “This is what we do at the YAP program. “We build bridges and make connections. We understand that sometimes all it takes is a chance meeting to change a life…We are committed to being the chance that creates the change.”

Level believes that mentoring is a key initiative in the Young Adults Program because it aids those who are in an almost limbo stage in their life where they are still unsure of what the future has in store for them.

“They are a reminder of how diverse and open our program is for anyone that needs it whether a place for recreation, making new friends, or mentoring but for Ralph and Raven (Ralph’s partner) it was their date night,” Level said. “Ralph values community and that’s what Spring Creek is all about! We’ve all become his cheerleaders!”

Photo by Amanda Moses and Young Adults Program

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Amanda Moses