During his high school years, Clay volunteered with Youth Enrichment Services (YES) a Boston-based youth enrichment program designed to provide inner city kids an opportunity to experience the pride of achievement through outdoor adventure. Through his volunteering his love of connecting and appreciating people from different backgrounds was recognized. Clay’s volunteering experience was much more to Clay than community service; YES provided Clay with an opportunity to grow as a person.
In Clay’s memory, we have established “CLAY CONNECTIONS”, a program within YES that connects suburban middle school kids together with inner city middle school kids to promote similar personal growth.
CLAY CONNECTIONS has successfully completed its first two years. More than 35 students from Winchester (MA) McCall Middle School and Boston (MA) Neighborhood House Charter School participated in the program. The four-week program introduced young people to a variety of sports and followed a curriculum inspired by Clay. Each week, students explore a different theme: Adventure, Trust, Kindness, and Passion. These are core values which Clay embraced throughout his life and in his interaction with others.
Clay learned early on that people are more similar than different, and if given the opportunity, their interactions can result in lifelong learning experiences and friendships. We are extremely proud of this program and look forward to its continued growth.
We hope with CLAY CONNECTIONS to expand Clay’s legacy of acceptance, kindness, and understanding of differences. Bringing people together was Clay's passion. Creating an awareness of different cultures among young people was something that Clay believed in deeply.