Why the NYC Urban Ambassadors Took Over Classic Man Barber Lounge


For many historically underserved young men in New York City, access to leadership training and mentorship is not guaranteed. In 2012, NYC Urban Ambassadors (UA) was founded to provide young men with purpose, leadership, and distinction. On Tuesday, June 19th, 2018, the young men graduating from the NYC Urban Ambassadors program were treated to complimentary grooming services by the good people at Classic Man Barber Lounge, in New York City’s famous East Village neighborhood.


UA is currently affiliated with over 40 public high schools across the city and is dedicated to cultivating a brotherhood that serves students throughout their journey from high school to college.

Young men in the program take the journey to excellence via five pillars that are designed to promote confidence and achievement as they strive to reach their goals. The pillars are: College Readiness; Leadership; Introspection; Mastery Learning; and Brotherhood (CLIMB). These pillars provide a foundation for goal-setting and academic and personal achievement. 


This event was orchestrated by Mastermind Connect, and made possible by our member, Isiah Michael, co-owner of Classic Man Barber Lounge. Isiah is an active Mastermind Connect member who offered to provide complimentary grooming services to the UA for one full year after graduation. The services can be used at their discretion, whenever they have job interviews or important career events, or simply whenever any of these young men want to feel like the classic man they are bound to become.

Isiah Michael, co-owner of Classic Man Barber Lounge and Mike McConnell, founder of Mastermind Connect

Isiah Michael, co-owner of Classic Man Barber Lounge and Mike McConnell, founder of Mastermind Connect

The young men filed into the elegant barber lounge with joyful smiles and left with all-star haircuts and elated, prepared for their recognition ceremony, happening on Friday, June 22, 2018 at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.


The recognition ceremony will serve as a right of passage and completion of the program, as they continue to build their future by going to the colleges they have chosen. These young men are able to take on the world and take full steps and sure footing, thanks to this amazing program, spearheaded by The Office of Equity and Access of the New York City Department of Education.


As they enter the next phase of their lives, we would like to thank the team at The Office of Equity and Access for allowing us to work with them throughout the school year. We look forward to a continued relationship with them, and having our members fully involved in mentoring the new class of 2019, as part of our Young Masterminds Initiative efforts.

There is a lot more to come, and we’re ready, eager, and able to show them the way to success, and to navigate the world of adulthood that they’re about to face very soon.

Mastermind Connect founders Manny Almonte and Mike McConnell

Mastermind Connect founders Manny Almonte and Mike McConnell

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