Refresh Collective uses creativity, clothing and culture to empower Cleveland youth

Refresh Collective uses creativity, clothing and culture to empower Cleveland youth

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Refresh Collective on Cleveland’s West side is giving students an opportunity to spread a message through hip-hop.

The organization provides students with the professional studio equipment and the tools needed to record songs with their peers.

Doc Harrill known by his students as Dee Jay Doc, founded the the group from his home off East 115th Street in Glenville back in 2009.

“I wanted to use my skillset to pour into the kids’ into my neighborhood, Harrill said.”

The DJ soon turned into a mentor for the students and he decided to move to expand.

“Pretty soon it outgrew our house, we had a lot of teens coming over, silk-screening t-shirts, recording music, and I’m trying to put my kids to bed at the same time. It got crazy.”
Doc Harrill, founder of Refresh Collective

‘The Fresh Lab’ on West 54th Street and Denison doubles as a recording space and a storefront.

Students work in the store, selling the t-shirts they designed themselves.

The clothing includes catchy puns that promote healthy eating habits that coincide with their “eat fresh” campaign.

The shirts have quotes like “That’s my jam” and “Drop the beet."

Take a tour

The Refresh Collective is an organization that gives teens an outlet to create through their love of hip hop. ‘The Fresh Lab’ on Cleveland’s West side is equipped with professional studio equipment and a variety of other amenities.

Posted by Cleveland 19 News on Wednesday, April 3, 2019

With Harrill the students have traveled to 6 states performing their music and selling t-shirts at craft fairs.

The group travels to area schools and even perform in front of law enforcement in an effort to bridge the gap.

Pat Warner, one of ‘Doc’s’ long-time students said joining the group changed his life for the better.

“Inspirational is the first word that comes to mind," Warner said.

“There aren’t too many people that would go out their way to put the kids first, but Doc is one of those people.”
Pat Warner, Tri-C student

The best part about the organization is the programs for students are free of charge.

Through grants and the generosity of others Harrill is able to keep up with day-to-day operations.

To donate to help the cause click here.

Every season is a new mission, right now the message is 'Stories of struggle and success."

Kids can register to join in online, just visit Refresh Collective to get involved.

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