Since I was 14 years old I knew that I was called to do music. But what did that mean? I now understand my life mission and purpose.
Drum Roll Please...
After much debate and a little inner turmoil, I've decided to follow that which burns deep inside of me, an inner-city after school music program for students that can't afford opportunities in the arts. We will provide tutoring, life skills coaching, all sorts of music instruction, performance opportunities, a healthy meal, and a loving and caring learning environment for students who need it most.
So What Now??? Monday, October 8th
Monday, October 8th, I'm headed to New Orleans, LA to volunteer and learn from my 1st program. I was watching CNN Heroes and stumbled across this amazing organization who is doing an after-school program a lot like the vision God has given me. The program is called The Roots of Music and you can learn more about them here: http://therootsofmusic.com
After visiting New Orleans I will then head to Baltimore, MD to volunteer and study from the Baltimore School of The Arts and their TWIGGS After-School Program. More info about them here: http://www.bsfa.org/home
So stay tuned! I'll be blogging about all of these wonderful institutions and sharing what I took away from each and every experience. And I'll also be updating you on the status and development of my program!
Did I mention that my graduate thesis is on this very topic!? Learning about these amazing programs, pursuing my dreams, and fulfilling my thesis requirement for graduate school all at the same time.
Down The Road...Thinking Out Loud
One of my goals is that 100% of the students enrolled in the program go on to higher education. Another vision is to have world-renowned musicians and artists visit the school encouraging the students to follow and pursue their dreams.
The single item that's heaviest on my mind. If you know of any people who might be of help please let me know. I know that funding this program will go smoothly because inner-city youth work is detrimental to our society. There is a great need, and not enough being done about it.
My last rant...I PROMISE!
- After-school outreach activities are gaining increased attention and funding because of the awareness that children from at-risk neighborhoods need supervised, safe, and constructive focus during the hours following school.
- Juvenile crime rates “spike” around 3:00pm, just after students are released from school with nothing to do and no adult supervision.
- Successful after-school programs help at-risk children develop better school attendance, work habits, and grades, better social skills and emotional adjustment, and overall greater self-esteem and aspirations for the present and the future.
- Unfortunately, there are not
enough after-school programs available, particularly in urban areas, to meet
the demand for them.
Thanks for taking time out of your day to check out my blog. It is much appreciated!
The Billingsley School of Music & Arts, Inc.