The Man Behind the Tie

Clark drapes donated and thrifted ties around his neck, shortly before handing them out to all the students of Boys to Men at Lost River Elementary. Clark is always accepting tie donations to send home to the members of Boys to Men. “I have to coordinate getting each one of these boys a button down, belt, pair of khakis, and a tie. And sometimes we just don’t have the sizes for all of them,” says Clark.

Brenna Pepke

When 28-year-old Tyreon Clark walks into one of the elementary schools in Bowling Green, he knows he is fulfilling his purpose in life. 

However, Clark was not always so sure of his path. When he graduated WKU as a young father, Clark was on the hunt for a job involving his passions and social work degree. Eventually, Clark found Boys to Men Leadership Group of Kentucky, which gave him the opportunity to work directly with young men, ages 7-18. Clark understands that all children are different.

“These kids are sharp, it just takes someone to bring it out of them,” Clark said. 

The lessons and achievements symbolized through the act of learning how to tie a tie are a central point in Boys to Men. If a student follows the guidelines and moral codes laid out in the creed, a blue and silver tie is given to them. If their behavior and schoolwork is poor, a plain gray tie is received. Clark believes the ties show positive reinforcement and allow the children to work towards an achievable goal. 

In 2018, Clark created a junior flag football team for the students of Boys to Men and children around Warren County. During the spring, summer and fall, Clark works through the flag football team to give the youth another outlet where they can learn and grow confidence under a guided hand.

All Clark’s long days are completed with the greater goal of producing young men who strive to learn and care about the world they live in and the people around them. 

Clark frames much of his work by saying, “You can look at what is wrong in the world, but what are you going to do about changing it?”