Meet the Mahogany Youth Family

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Robert O'Bryant

Founder and Mentor

Mr. O’Bryant worked with juvenile and adult drug offenders and recovering addicts. Working with juvenile offenders in prison, he saw firsthand the damage done to the youth because of drug and gang activity. Filled with compassion, he wanted to intervene in their lives before they enter the system.

Fishing was a way to get them involved and motivated to stay out of trouble. It gave them a positive outlet for their energy.

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Kathleen Elliot-O'Bryant

Vice President 

Can learning to tie knots and cast lures really help children lead healthy, safe, and fulfilling lives?

Kathleen Elliott thinks so. Amidst the grim backdrop that defines life for many youngsters in Miami-Dade County, she works tirelessly teaching children how to fish and enjoy the outdoors. The payoff is that at-risk youth will stay in school, off drugs, and out of the criminal justice system.

Our Story

Our Founder and Directors, Mr. Robert O’Bryant, a licensed drug counselor for over twenty years, founded Mahogany Youth Corporation (MYC) a 501c3 in 1994.

Prior to founding MYC, Mr. O’Bryant worked with juvenile and adult drug offenders and recovering addicts. Working with juvenile offenders in prison, he saw firsthand the damage done to the youth because of drug and gang activity. Filled with compassion, he wanted to intervene in their lives before they enter the system.

Fishing was a way to get them involved and motivated to stay out of trouble. It gave them a positive outlet for their energy. He started an outdoors, conservation, and a mentoring program titled “Teach a Child to Fish”. This program began changing their lives starting over 25 years ago in collaboration with  Miami Dade Parks in Gwen Cherry Park. The park's programs expanded to Miami Dade and Broward Counties. The afterschool program expanded to North Dade Middle School in 2007. Then in 2010 grew to include in-school programs in Jose Di Diego, and Richmond Heights middle schools.

Those programs continue and in 2016, MYC added two elementary school programs in Bright Futures and North Glade Elementary schools. This year MYC added a new program called Outdoor Recreation as an elective in Jose Di Diego Middles School.

MYC has delivered a high-quality science-focused summer camp for 13 years in South Florida that includes fishing, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, high-quality science, nature experiences, and intensive scientific research in the fields of Marine Biology and Plant Ecology with an emphasis on Sponge, Fish, and Water Quality research. 7 years ago, we added a STEM focus building our first underwater robot and adding a diving program. Four years ago, we added sponge restoration and snorkeling. In the camp, the youth learn sport fishing, swimming, and safe boating.

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Student Stories

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