About Our Founder

Heyward R. Prude

“Am I my brother’s keeper?”

A Cleveland native Heyward R. Prude was being groomed as a young child by his mother and grandmother to become a community activist. Watching their countless acts of humility, and the giving spirit of these two powerful women, Heyward R. Prude began to carry their legacy forward through grade school tutoring his peers in math and science. Heyward R. Prude advocated for his fellow classmates in the Big Buddy Little Program as a mentor for troubled young boys and girls. He also had an interest was music was fascinated with the work of the Cleveland Orchestra and he learned to play the Violin. As a violin player he was one of the first African American males to play the violin in a band within the Cleveland Municipal School District. Heyward R. Prude attended John Hay High School in Cleveland and was recognized for his academic achievements by Who’s Who of American High School Students as well as the National Honor Society. He also is an accomplished poetry writer and has had his work published in “Great Poets of our Time,” as well as periodicals and newsletters. He also involved himself in the political process and was nominated as a page for the late Congressman Louis Stokes. He has also reported for several newspapers, coached football and basketball, he is a mentor, counselor and he also is a freelance photographer. 


Heyward R. Prude attended Cuyahoga Community College, Hondros College and Cleveland State University. He has been advocating in and around the city of Cleveland for some 22 years. He grew tired of the conditions facing the Cleveland community and the consistent failure facing youth, he founded the E.M.S. Rams Youth Development Group, Inc. in March of 2002. The organization was created from a vision to provide youth a better experience in sports, mentoring and leadership programs. As the years progressed Heyward R. Prude aspired to become more of an effective change agent and has expanded the mission of the E.M.S. Rams by collaborating with many agencies and programs throughout Cuyahoga County. He used the pitfalls he experienced as a young African American male raised in an urban community to his advantage and did not allow excuses to stand in the way. He has traveled the country in pursuit of positive change for youth in under-served communities. Heyward R. Prude is also a Minster and a member of the City of God under the leadership of Pastor Kyle Early.


The Rams organization is the epitome of hard work and a relentless pursuit of excellence and has served several thousand young people as well as needy families throughout the years. Heyward R. Prude also founded another successful non-profit organization The Chosen Few, Incorporated of Cleveland.  Heyward R. Prude has sat on the board of Directors of St. Clair Superior Development Corporation and Business Professionals of America. He is currently attending the University of Tiffin where he is on the Dean’s list and he is also a graduate of the Neighborhood Leadership Development Program. 


Heyward R. Prude was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease in September of 2017. Through his journey Heyward R. Prude discovered a multitude of disparities related to kidney disease and low-income communities. Thus, he wanted to do something to change the outcomes. He then founded the K-I-C-K Foundation, Inc., in October 2017. The mission of the

K-I-C-K Foundation Inc. is to empower the voiceless in under-served communities with the knowledge, tools and resources in which they need to secure treatment modalities after they have been diagnosed with Chronic Kidney disease. Heyward R. Prude has been recognized by the Vanguards of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County Commissioners, USA Football, Dick’s Sporting Goods, The Plain Dealer and Call and Post newspapers as well at the Cleveland Browns for his tireless work in the community. Heyward R. Prude acknowledges and credits his success to his mentors the late Councilwoman Fannie M. Lewis, Arthur Fayne, Jefferson Jones, Ted Ginn Sr., Tony Brooks and a multitude of other great men and women.


“My goal has always been to become a part of the solution and I model my commitment to that of a lion who is the king of the jungle.” “They are protectors yet they are tenacious in their pursuit of excellence.” “I believe that the world could be a better place if people would be willing to work together for a greater good of all humanity”