Rockford’s YES Club celebrates diversity for July 4th


(WTVO) — The Young Eagles Success Club (YES Club) is a local non-profit that uses the power of music to change the lives of Rockford-area kids.

The YES Club has been around in some form for the last three decades, but the family behind the group says the messages in their songs are more important than ever.

“I’m excited about the fourth of July 2021 because I know I’m part of the solution to help us celebrate life in America,” said Carl Cole, the YES Club founder.

Carl Cole is the founder and CEO of the YES Club with the goal to empower youth to be better citizens and leaders.

“It’s okay to say ‘You know what, we’re doing better with racism, we’re doing better with social injustice’ but I can prove we’re doing better because I’m part of the movement to make America better,” Cole explained.

Cole tells us the recent signing of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act aimed at countering a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes is a huge step towards unity and a reason YES Club is celebrating this Independence Day.

“If you’ve got a bunch of kids working together with different races, different faces – they’re singing – they’re talking about positive stuff – you know I think that shows me evidence that that law can work.”

Dianna Cole, Carl’s wife, is YES Club’s education director. She says since July 4th, 1776 when America declared its independence from the United Kingdom, freedom is an important part of the holiday.

“Everybody–doesn’t matter what race or culture–everybody should be able to be free in this country. Free to be who they were created to be and that we should allow for people to not have to walk around in fear,” said Dianna.

“I always like to see all the different faces and each and every other face that I see is a different story to tell,” Nguyen said.

“All these different races and nationalities of young people singing about the power of unity – singing about just saying yes to success,” Carl explained.

Saturday, the YES Club choir celebrated the 4th with a virtual event titled The Power-up Youth Explosion. It’s their way of promoting love and peace through music.

“To be patriotic but be a better citizen and be a better person and help some young people to be better and to be that’s worth celebrating – that’s a firework to me,” said Cole.

Their songs are more important now than ever.

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