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Grant allows Teen Outreach Programs expansion in Copper Country

March 3, 2022 | By Sophia Goulette

Students from Dollar Bay-Tamarack City TOP Club participate in a trust-building exercise during their weekly TOP Club meeting.
Students from Dollar Bay-Tamarack City TOP Club participate in a trust-building exercise during their weekly TOP Club meeting.

$50,000 in funding from Prevention Network supports new TOP Clubs

The Houghton/Keweenaw Communities That Care (HKCTC), in partnership with Dial Help, was recently awarded $50,000 in grant funding from Prevention Network. The funding is to maintain Wyman's Teen Outreach Program Club (TOP Club) in five schools and expand to additional schools in the Copper Country. TOP Club is an after-school program for middle and high schoolers.

“Research shows that participation in TOP Club can improve resilience and leadership skills in students,” HKCTC Coordinator Lisa Simpson said. “The clubs have been very popular to date and we’re eager to bring them into more area schools. The last couple of years have been very difficult on these students, and this program can have a huge impact.”

TOP Club was originally launched locally in 2018 with funding from Portage Health Foundation, with Dial Help staff providing the program in schools. The clubs meet weekly at each school for interactive lessons that include topics like emotion management, problem solving, goal setting, and adolescent health and wellness. They also participate in activities like sledding, beach days, hiking and community service. 

There are currently active clubs at Dollar Bay-Tamarack City, Houghton, Calumet, Ewen-Trout Creek and Chassell school districts. Additional schools that will begin hosting TOP Club will be announced soon. 

A study of 500 participants in TOP nationwide showed incredible results:


  •  94 percent of teens reported that their facilitators cared about them.
  •   82 percent of teens reported feeling a sense of belonging.
  •   89 percent of teens reported that community service learning helped them make a positive difference in the lives of others.


“Sometimes all a teenager needs is to know there is another person out there that cares,” said Simpson. “We’ve seen improved social and emotional learning, students developing stronger connections to others, improved academic performance and a decrease in risky behaviors.”

Prevention Network also awarded funds to the Dickinson/Iron Communities That Care(DICTC) coalition to bring TOP Club to their counties. Dial Help will work with the DICTC to oversee these groups as well, which will save over $30,000 in start-up costs. 

Part of Prevention Network’s award will also be used to increase membership in the HKCTC. Communities That Care (CTC) is an evidence-based coalition of professionals, parents, teens and other concerned citizens working to prevent youth substance use, depression and more. There are currently eight CTCs in the Upper Peninsula serving 10 counties. The vision of the Houghton/Keweenaw CTC is to develop a supportive, safe community that empowers youth through education, positive relationships, healthy beliefs and clear standards. 

“If this sounds like something of interest to you, we would love to have you join us as a volunteer,” said Simpson. Visit to find out how you can make a difference in our communities by volunteering a few hours of your time monthly.

Learn more about TOP Clubs at Dial Help’s 24-hour crisis line is available by calling (906) 482-HELP, texting (906) 35NEEDS, or chatting online at Information on preventing risky youth behaviors is available at Learn more about Prevention Network at

Sophia Goulette