project leader
Keyana T
16300 Lakeshore Blvd
(North Collinwood)
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the project

North Collinwood ThunderCats Youth Organization was created when neighborhood coaches saw a need for programming targeting girls and young ladies in the community. Other than seasonal sideline cheerleading, the majority of programs at the recreation center were geared toward males. As parents and Muny league cheer coaches, Keyana Thomas and Daina White noticed an immediate need for something engaging and fun for the community girls to do. What started as a team of 15 girls and three coaches has grown into a squad of 40, with three separate teams, three separate skill levels, and nine volunteer coaches. All of our coaches are former cheerleaders or cheer parents.

Our competitive cheer team is a member of USASF (US All Star Federation) Club Cheer and Dance Team. Being a part of USASF formalizes our organization by providing safety standards, credentialing for coaches, and access to competitions around the country. All NCT coaches have their safe sport, CPR, and AED certifications. Each year, coaches complete or maintain USASF credentialing for tumbling and stunting. Currently, all coaches are credentialed to level 1, and the head coach is credentialed to level 3. Also, USASF sets the standard for our girls to advance in cheer and compete nationally. This has led to NCT making space for all girls to participate and grow by offering teams aligned to USASF skill levels. As a result, many of our cheerleaders have been able to walk onto high school and college cheer teams as freshmen. A few cheerleaders have even received cheer scholarships (which are rare to come by.).

NCT travels to competitions throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida. As an all Black & under-resourced team participating in a predominantly white sport, we are extremely proud of their achievements. These experiences teach the girls to be confident in their abilities, increase self-esteem, and motivate them to do their best on and off the mat.


the steps

Compete in Virginia or Florida at a Finals Competition

During most of the season, NCT keeps travel to a 1.5 to 2-hour driving distance to reduce the cost of travel. Therefore, the final competition gives the girls an opportunity to take a trip beyond the City of Cleveland and test their skills against teams from across the country. The girls work hard and look forward to this competition each year. This competition ends the season in a way that is fun and is their favorite competition to attend.

Purchase equipment to increase safety and build tumbling skills

As the team grows, more equipment is needed to insure safety. The team practices in Collinwood Recreation Center Gym. Although the space is large enough to accommodate the entire team, cheer mats are needed to prepare the floor for tumbling and jumping. Also, as the cheerleaders progress with their skills, stunting and gymnastics equipment are needed so that they can practice harder routines without risking injury.

Host a summer skills camp for children ages 3 - 19

During June and July, NCT hosts a summer skills camp that is free and open to any child interested in trying out cheer. The participants will learn basic cheer fundamentals such as jumps, arm placements, and tumbling. At the end of the camp, the participant's progress is measured through a "tryout" for placement on one of the NCT Cheer Teams. 

why we're doing it

NCT is the only USASF affiliated team operating in the City of Cleveland. The following closest teams are in Chesterland, Solon, and Bedford Heights. To remain competitive, teams must practice multiple evenings each week. This makes traveling several miles to participate on a team only possible for some of our girls. 

Comparable teams charge a fee of up to $1,000 per month to participate in the entire program. This fee structure is not within reach for our families, prohibiting their participation in comparable organizations. Families come together to host many fundraising events to fill this gap. These funds help pay USASF insurance, fees, and coaching certification. These are the bare minimum expenses for the girls to participate in competitions. Additional funds and volunteer support are needed for coaching, equipment, programming, and skills development camps. 

What started as a way to bring young girls together and build them up has become a growing program that keeps them active and encourages healthier living. We have competed in many competitions over the last 16 seasons and have been a top contender, bringing home national titles.



Final budget


TOTAL RAISED = $6,035.00

ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (8%)


ioby Donation Processing Fee (4%)




Original budget

Florida Finals Cheer Competition Fees Registration fees for 40 cheerleaders: $3,400

3 Large Cheer Mats: $1,050

2 Tumbling Octagons: $370

2 Gymnastic Wedges: $418

2 Stunt Stands: $600

Summer Cheer Skills Camp for 40 participants: $5,000 (125 per child)


ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee 8%    $972.89
ioby Donation Processing Fee 4%    $350.24
TOTAL TO RAISE    $12,161.13
Donation processing fees apply to donations only. 100% of match funding goes to projects. Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised and amount of match funding applied to this campaign.    


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