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VIProfile: Tyreon Clark

Story by Angela Reeves

In 2017, Tyreon Clark took over the Boys to Men program as Program Director. Under his leadership Boys to Men has grown from one chapter, starting at Parker Bennett Curry Elementary, to now five chapters - four in Bowling Green and one in Louisville, KY.

Clark’s fundraiser hosted in March 2019, Breakfast with Dad, was an idea he and his six-year-old son Jordan came up with to the mimic the special breakfast time they have together as father and son. The event had over 160 young men and 180 adult men in attendance and helped draw awareness to the organization from the community. Clark loves teaching the kids how to tie a tie, admitting he never learned to tie his first tie until 22 years old, but more importantly he likes the opportunity to help the children build character and learn who they are behind the tie. “Anybody can put a tie on and look good. Anybody can put a suit on and look good. But what is your character? That’s what is important,” said Tyreon.

Tyreon Clark grew up in Bowling Green, attending Parker Bennett Elementary. He credits his mom and dad for his desire to help others. “They had extremely big and good hearts with passionate work ethics, but I still know what it’s like to grow up as an under privileged youth. My parents would be struggling but go broke trying to take care of me. It’s hard for children to voice what they need, and I’ve lived what they’re experiencing. I knew I could help and wanted to be able to make an impact on others,” said Clark.

Tyreon attended Austin Peay University where he played football on a full athletic scholarship, earning his degree in Social Work, followed by a graduate degree at WKU in Sports Administration. Working with youth has always been a passion of his, generated by mentors of his own growing up. Danny Crouthers, a former youth football coach of Tyreon’s, encouraged him to work with kids early on. In 2016 he got him to stay at a boys overnight program at Parker Bennett and eventually hosting youth football camps.

In 2017, Tyreon’s sister passed away. She was always so proud of the work he was doing, and it was the push from her he needed to step up and do more, to lead Boys to Men, and to start outreach in other areas. “Keep grinding bro, I see you, keep pushing,” are words from her that he will forever remember. “When Mr. Stovall left and I took over, I went hard. I put my all in it and I made sure the boys got everything they deserved,” said Clark.

Currently, Tyreon is the Assistant Football Coach at Bowling Green High School, the Junior High Head Football Coach, and Head Track and Field Coach, as well as Employment Specialist at BGHS, helping students with special needs find meaningful work. Having grown up in athletics has helped him in coaching different age groups. Junior high athletics, he says, is more about participation and recognition, where high school becomes about building
confidence and forming the image of who these young men are. Every age and developmental stage is important, and Coach Clark takes his job of teacher, coach, role model, and father very seriously.

When asked what he is most proud of, Tyreon spoke about yet another amazing program he had started, the MAC Intervention Group - Making Appropriate Choices. In 2018 Coach Clark began visiting youth detention centers to speak to the young men and deliver Dress for Success kits. His intention is to be a turning point for these boys - to give them hope that they still have a full life ahead of them and can turn their lives around to be what they want them to be. Many of the boys have never worn a suit or tie and he said their demeanor changes instantly when they put them on. He encourages the boys to dream big and dress the part for their future. “It’s been full of love and hope. You can see some real inspiration in their eyes,” said Clark.

Building character, one tie at a time. Boys to Men Leadership Group, directed by Tyreon Clark, helps to build the character and confidence of young men through making good choices and dressing for success, teaching young boys to “Act like a man, dress like a man.” The programs’ participants are gifted a shirt, tie and khaki pants they can wear on Fridays if their behavior has been good, and they earn different ties similar to a karate system based on achievements, with the striped creed tie, being awarded as the pinnacle of the program.

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