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'Exposes me to a lot of opportunities': Englewood's Crushers Club shows teens endless possibilities

Englewood's Crushers Club helping teens explore endless possibilities
Englewood's Crushers Club helping teens explore endless possibilities 02:39

CHICAGO (CBS) -- This month, Crushers Club, is celebrating 10 years of making a big difference in the lives of young people in Englewood. 

Improved academic performance and keeping teens out of the juvenile justice system is just the beginning of what they do.  CBS 2's Suzanne Le Mignot shows us the life-transforming work, of this non-profit organization.

They're boxing, cooking, creating clothing, and music. The Englewood nonprofit is dedicated to teaching young people life skills in the catering, culinary, and construction professions. Young members of Crushers Club in Englewood get paid $15.00 or more per hour for the work they do.

"They're putting in some progressive work, not being on the block, doing something that's going to give them jail time or something like that, they're being positive and productive," said Esco, the Crushers Club Creative Director.

"It exposes me to a lot of opportunities and resources at a young age and it's really given me the motivation that I really can do what I want to do," said Daquwan Johnson of Crushers Kitchen.

Sally Hazelgrove said she felt compelled to move to Englewood in 2010 with her three children from Uptown.

"I saw the deplorable conditions, how dangerous it was. All these young men on the corner. And I decided I wanted to start volunteering," said Sally Hazelgrove, the Founder and Executive Director of the Crushers Club.

In 2013, Hazelgrove would founder and become the executive director of Crushers Club.

"There's nothing better than helping other people. You go home and you sleep well at night," Club said.

Hazelgrove said she works every year to raise funds to support the programs, like the boxing here. She said all of the young people who are in need, in Englewood, know they can come here, to be nurtured and loved."

More than 500 young people have walked through the doors of Crushers Club at 64th and Loomis, located inside Beautiful Zion Missionary Baptist Church here in Englewood. There have even been two Golden Glove winners. 

The organization has been recognized nationally and locally for their work. Among the awards, the Make it Better Foundation Philanthropy Award in the athletics category.

"The Make it Better was my first funding really, you know, and it enabled me to rent this place, and also came with a lot of professional and capacity support, which I needed," Hazelgrove said.

Crushers Club receives state and county funding and relies on donations and grants. Its next goal is to create a workforce hospitality training center in Englewood, in the years ahead.

The cost per student to take part in Crushers Club is about $8,000 per year. Visit the Crushers Club website to find out how you can donate and help others. 

CBS 2 is a proud sponsor of the Make it Better Foundation Philanthropy Awards. 

We are so proud of our young Crusher having all A's and B's on his report card! He continues to overcome and not let his...

Posted by Crushers Club on Thursday, March 30, 2023
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