WHO WE ARE

Club Esteem is a community focused non-profit that believes every child deserved the opportunity to dream of and create a life beyond their current circumstances.

OUR MISSION

Our mission is to inspire children in under-resourced communities to achieve academic and personal excellence through tutoring, mentoring, and enrichment programs. Together, with families, volunteers, and community partners, we are creating equity through education.

OUR VISION

Inspiring kids in our community to embrace and excel in education by providing individualized tutoring and mentorship, guiding them to becoming compassionate, college and career-ready leaders. 

OUR VALUES

Community Matters
We are actively engaged in our local area. Many boys and girls join Club Esteem through referrals from current students. We are more than an after-school program: we are part of the fabric of our community. 

Family Commitment
Achieving excellence isn’t just the task of our students, we also set expectations and require commitments from their families as well! We believe success is better together. 

Excellence through Equity
Through access to diverse community leaders and programming, we believe students should dream beyond their current circumstances and have access to explore many interests.  

A Safe Space
Students succeed where they feel safe. We provide a caring, structured environment where students feel comfortable connecting with leaders and each other. 

Place of Pride
Club Esteem Alumni wear their involvement with our program with pride. We aim to be a place graduates come back to connect, share, and support.

OUR STAFF

Ellena Little

Executive Director
ellenalittle@clubesteem.org

Sherri Moody

Program Leader/Instructor

Robert Green

Grant Writer
funddevelopment@clubesteem.org

Ariel Garcia – “Mr. A”

Program Leader/Instructor

Martha Fay

Adminstrative Assistant
marthafay@clubesteem.org

Lee Bartell

South Melbourne Expansion Sites Manager & Program Leader

Heather Walcott

Program Leader/Instructor

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

OFFICERS

Kim Deffebach, PhD

President
Licensed Psychologist

Ryan Maultsby

Secretary
Specialty Sales Representative, Janssen Inc.

 

Edward R. Davis III

Treasurer
Retired Vice President & Treasurer, Tupperware Brands Corporation

BOARD MEMBERS

Ryan BAILEY

Product Manager, Alertgy

 

Patrick Culhane

Vice President, Financial Consultant, Private Wealth Management, SunTrust Investment Services, Inc.

 

Mitch Evander

Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, L3Harris Corporation

 

ALEXANDER HOWELL

M&A Attorney, L3Harris

Don McGee

Vice President,
McGee-Maust-Welch Wealth Advisors, Merrill Lynch

 

Kate Sims

Healthcare Consultant,
Regional Director, Press Ganey

 

Katherine Stewart

Consultant, Stewart Consulting

 

David Stills

Chief Information Officer

COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP BOARD

Valeta Cameron, Esq

Attorney, Brevard Legal Aid

Tiffany Trudeau, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

 

OUR HISTORY

Club Esteem was founded in 1991 by Ms. Gladys Williams (pictured above), a grandmother who was alarmed by the challenges facing young people in her South Melbourne neighborhood near Lipscomb Park Community Center. Ms. Williams recognized the difficulty of youth making positive choices while living in a community struggling with crime, drug use, unemployment, teen pregnancy, and elevated school dropout rates. While many may have given up hope, Ms. Williams, her close friend Ms. Dorothy “Dot” Linson, and others believed that the efforts of a few could change the direction of the youth in and around their community. In the spring of 1991, they began a “club” for children guided by Ms. Williams belief that “all youth can achieve success with a solid educational foundation and caring adult relationships.” The youth chose the name “Club Esteem” and defined their goals as staying in school, making good grades, and making positive life choices. From 1991 to 2003 Club Esteem met one night per week at Lipscomb Street Community Center.

In 2002, the Junior League of South Brevard, City of Melbourne, and M.H. Williams Construction joined together to build the Club Esteem Youth and Family Center, a new 4000 sf facility adjacent to the Lipscomb Park Community Center at 3316 Monroe Street in Melbourne, Florida. In 2004, the Club Esteem Youth and Family Center opened and began offering programs and services five days per week including tutoring, mentoring, character education, cultural arts, and more.

From 2004 to the present, Club Esteem’s programs have continued to expand. Club Esteem’s after-school and summer programs currently serve 175+ economically disadvantaged youth and their families five days per week at the Club Esteem Youth and Family Center and at several satellite locations.

Club Esteem will celebrate 30 years of changing the lives of economically disadvantaged youth in 2021!

THIRTY YEARS OF INSPIRING EXCELLENCE

1991

Club Esteem is founded by Gladys Williams with 50 students meeting once a week at Brother’s House (now The Delta House).

1994

Incorporated as Club Esteem Youth and Family Center, weekly tutoring moves to Lipscomb Community Center.  .

2003

Junior League of South Brevard Inc., the City of Melbourne, and general contractor M.H. Williams Construction join together to build a new facility for Club Esteem adjoined to Lipscomb Park Community Center at 3316 Monroe St. Melbourne.

2004

Club Esteem Youth and Family Center opens, offering expanded programs and services five days per week during the school year to approximately 60 students each day.  

2006

Recognizing the need for our services year-round, Club Esteem’s summer program launches. 
 

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2009

After joining Club Esteem in 1997 as a volunteer, and serving as Program Director and Assistant Director, Ellena Little becomes Executive Director, expanding programs to include: Financial Literacy, Math Counts, Reading Blast Off, Kids In Motion, Making of a Fine Young Lady, Just for Gents, Making Aerospace Real for Students, and Science Wonders.

2011

Thirty students attend Club Esteem’s first annual college trip.

2012 & 2013

Two Club Esteem students receive the Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship, selected from a pool of over 55,000. This award covers the costs of tuition, room, and board, throughout master’s or doctoral programs.

2013

18 high school students graduate from high school. The highest number in a single year, bringing the total high school graduate to over 50 since 2009.

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2018

Aiming to help increase student interest in STEM, coding classes are introduced at Club Esteem.

2020

COVID-19 does not stop Club Esteem from supporting students: tutoring and enrichment programs are offered virtually. Over 4,500 grab and go meals are provided to students who no longer have access to free and reduced lunches, 1,750 weekend meal packets and over 400 bags of groceries are provided to some of our most vulnerable populations.

2021

Club Esteem celebrates thirty years of community service with plans to enhance, expand and continue to help every child in our community dream of a life beyond their current circumstances.

COMMUNITY PARTNERS

United Way

As a United Way Partner Agency, Club Esteem is eligible to receive designated gifts via payroll deduction to the United Way of Brevard or any other United Way in the US.  Please contact your employer to designate your payroll deduction donation to benefit Club Esteem.

Community Foundation of Brevard

Create a legacy and change the lives of economically disadvantaged youth by including a gift to Club Esteem in your trust and estate plans. Gifts of cash, annuities, property, stocks, and other assets may be made directly to Club Esteem or may be made to the Club Esteem Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation of Brevard. For more information, please contact Theresa Grimison, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Brevard at
theresaG@cfbrevard.org or (321) 752-5505.

National Society of Black Engineers

Club Esteem is proud to have established the first National Society of Black Engineers Junior Chapter Site in the US. Club Esteem’s NSBE Pre-College Initiative program helps students develop teamwork, leadership, and academic skills; educates and exposes students to STEM fields and experiences; and encourages students to attend college and pursue STEM degrees.

Department of Children
and Families Access Assistance

Club Esteem is a Department of Children and Families Access Assistance Partner Site and provides assistance to families applying for SNAP, Medicaid, cash assistance, and social security benefits.

Eastern Florida State College

Club Esteem partners with the Eastern Florida State College Service Learning program to provide business leadership opportunities to students wishing to earn college credits.

Florida Division of Vocational
Rehab Worksite and Career Source Brevard Work Based Training Site

Club Esteem serves as a Florida Division of Vocational Rehab Worksite and Career Source Brevard Work Based Training Site by providing on the job training opportunities to community members desiring to enter the workforce.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida

Club Esteem partners with the Kid’s Cafe Program of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida to ensure that economically disadvantaged children receive healthy after-school meals.

United States Department of Agriculture Federal Child Care Food Program

Club Esteem partners with the United States Department of Agriculture Federal Child Care Food Program to ensure that economically school aged children from economically disadvantaged families receive healthy meals during the summer.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Bank of America

Best Buy (Melbourne store)

Booker Heights Neighborhood Watch

Brevard County Schools

Brevard Rescue Mission

Career Source Brevard

Children’s Hunger Project

City of Melbourne Housing and Community Development

City of Melbourne Eco Division

Community of Hope

Dance Arts Centre

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
Melbourne-Palm Bay Chapter

Delta Sigma Theta Melbourne-Palm Bay Alumnae Chapter

Eastern Florida State College

Eckerd Connects

Evans Center

Family Promise of Brevard

FAMU National Alumni Association

Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Florida Institute of Technology

Girl Scouts Citrus Council

Grambling Park Neighborhood Watch

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Habitat for Humanity of Brevard

Health First

Housing Authority of Brevard

Hurricane Sports Club

Jeremiah’s Supportive House

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity

Kappa Lambda Chi Military Fraternity

 

L3 Harris

Lipscomb Street Park Association

Melbourne PAL

Melbourne Police Department

National Council Negro Women

Neighbor Up Brevard

Northrop Grumman

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity

Palm Bay Elementary

Palm Bay Police Department

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity

Play Melbourne Parks and
Recreation and Golf (at Lipscomb Community Center)

PNC Bank

Powell Subdivision Neighborhood Watch

Rising Star Leadership

STEM/STEAM Development LLC

Sea Turtle Conservancy

Scouts of America

South Brevard Branch NAACP

Space Coast Chapter of the Children’s Home Society

St. Francis Reflections

Stone Magnet Middle School

Studio D

Take Stock in Children of Florida

The Dorcas Outreach Center for Kids (DOCK)

UF IFAS Extension

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority