It is with enthusiasm that I write this letter in support of CLUBOH! and the phenomenal work
that the organization has accomplished with at-risk youth. What started as a Historically Black
College Tour collaboration flourished into a partnership with a charge to bring resources and
programming to low income, BIPOC youth. Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services, Inc.
(MLKJRFS) is in the heart of Mason Square Neighborhood of Springfield Massachusetts, a large
low-income and BIPOC community with limited resources, an abundance of emerging public
health issues, and a lack of resources to address them. MLKJRFS prides themselves on being
nimble to our community’s needs with a special focus on youth development and youth mental
In partnership with CLUBOH! we have been able to serve over 200 youth together in the areas
of mental health, work readiness, college readiness, nutrition, entrepreneurship, and mentorship
through our HBCU Tour and our “Summer Dayz Camp; Summer Nightz” youth program designed to
give youth a safe, educational, and recreational space during the summer when youth are not in
school, and during evening hours when they are most at risk for engaging in negative activity.
CLUBOH! offers a robust curriculum, a passionate approach for working with at-risk youth, and
was instrumental in improving the outcomes for the youth in our programs who face great
adversity and have little access to resources. CLUBOH’s strategy is unique, community-
centered, and holistic; and emphasizes the value of social and emotional, and behavioral support.
Together we were able to surpass our program outcome goals, and the work that we did together
was coined monumental for the families in children in our community. It is with gratitude and
pleasure that I recommend CLUBOH!
Ariana M. Williams, BSPH, CHW
Director of Public Health, Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services, Inc.
The Director of the organization, Ty Ward, is doing the real work. Through CLUB OH, Ty is building community and providing self-empowerment opportunities for our students.
Our students are from a low income community and it is absolutely critical they are nurtured, supported, and given opportunities to thrive as individuals, artists, and creators.
This is not easy work, but it is deeply important work. The program provides space to address hardships and share triumphs. Ty comes to Rise with a huge heart and a razor sharp focus on hope, determination, and possibility. He treats his students like they are part of his family and pushes them to reach their fullest potential. CLUB OH is a wonderful, joyful, and needed program.
—Sasha Klare-Ayvazian, Rise Prep founding music teacher
I am delighted to share my experience with the CLUBOH program, an initiative that has had a profound impact on the lives of numerous youths. As a witness of the program, I can confidently say that CLUBOH offers a holistic career development approach that is truly exceptional.
During my time observing CLUBOH, I witnessed firsthand the dedication and passion of the team in empowering minority adolescents and teens. The program not only provided valuable mentorship but also served as a catalyst for positive redirection and personal growth. Through a comprehensive curriculum including job readiness, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, health and wellness, t-shirt making and more, CLUBOH equipped students with essential skills and resources, allowing them to overcome adversities and thrive in our communities.
In 2021 alone, CLUBOH successfully graduated 40 youth from the summer school program, and over the course of the 2021-2022 school year, they operated 10 cycles with an average of 15-20 youth per cycle at both Duggan and Kennedy schools. In total, approximately 200 youth had the privilege of benefiting from this exceptional program.
In conclusion, the CLUBOH program is nothing short of inspiring. It has positively
impacted the lives of countless youth, offering them a pathway to success. I recommend this program to any adolescent or teen seeking comprehensive support, mentorship, and personal growth. Thank you, CLUBOH, for making a difference in the lives of our students.
Based on my recent experience as a chaperone during their HBCU Black College Tour. This tour was a truly remarkable and transformative journey for the 10 Springfield youth, including four students from the Phoenix Charter Academy, who were fortunate enough to participate.
The entire experience exceeded all expectations, thanks to the exceptional collaboration between CLUBOH and Citizens of the World Inc. The synergy between these two organizations allowed us to create bonds and connections like no other. It was evident that both CLUBOH and Citizens of the World Inc. were deeply committed to providing an enriching and impactful experience for the youth.
Throughout the tour, the CLUBOH team showed dedication and professionalism. They organized every aspect of the trip, ensuring that each student had the opportunity to visit and explore various historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The itinerary was thoughtfully crafted, offering a balance between educational and cultural experiences.
As a chaperone, I witnessed firsthand the positive impact of this tour on the youth. It provided them with exposure to different college campuses, enabling them to envision themselves as future college students. The students were inspired by the rich history, academic programs, and cultural campus life of the HBCUs they visited. These connections will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on the students' personal growth and academic journeys.
I am grateful to CLUBOH and Citizens of the World Inc. for organizing such a meaningful and memorable experience. This tour not only broadened the students' perspectives but also instilled in them a deeper appreciation for higher education and cultural diversity. I highly recommend CLUBOH to any youth seeking unique and impactful opportunities for personal and educational growth.
Special thanks to CLUBOH, for uplifting these Springfield youth and for empowering them to pursue their dreams!
A member of the BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty class of 2011, Mychal Connolly currently serves as chapter chairman of SCORE Western Massachusetts, a nonprofit that gives free mentoring to people looking to start, grow, or exit a business. He also sits on the executive committee for, EforAll Holyoke, a nonprofit organization with the mission of making entrepreneurship accessible for all people. He is the author of the book Launch and Stand Out, a guide to starting and growing a business with creative marketing and branding, and an accompanying podcast. In addition, he leads Hundred Grand Plan, a group that works with entrepreneurs and business owners looking to earn their first $100,000. He was named one of America’s Top 100 Urban Entrepreneurs and is also a 100 Men of Color honoree for his work in the community. He has a strong relationship with CLUBOH and teaches financial literacy, goal setting, and entrepreneurship to our youth during enrichments and facilitated workshops.