John Wallace and Melissa Greene founded Surviving The Odds Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Marin County, in 2017 to give young people the opportunity to heal and find their voice through writing songs about their lives. The goal of the S.T.O.P. Program is to empower youth and help prevent the likelihood of substance abuse, self-injurious behaviors, and involvement with the criminal justice system. We give them a healthy outlet in which to cope with their emotions and traumatic experiences.
Under the guidance of our culturally competent staff, participants shape their personal experiences into original songs and music videos while working alongside peer mentors who have graduated the program. For each workshop, S.T.O.P. provides healthful meals and transportation support to help meet the needs of persistently under-resourced populations.
At the end of each 8-week program, S.T.O.P. holds a graduation concert to showcase the hard work that goes into creating their original songs and music videos. Participants who successfully finish the program receive a completion certificate, wall plaque, S.T.O.P. swag, and a compilation album of their program’s graduating class.
Over the last few years S.T.O.P. conducted 4 successful programs, each of them resulting in a powerful compilation album and community performance. We graduated 32 Participants and 7 Peer Mentors, ranging in age from 15 to 25. These programs were funded by Marin County Health & Human Services, the Marin Community Foundation, and SchoolWorx.
In March 2019, STOP built a permanent professional recording studio on the Marin Oaks High School campus in Novato. Under the supervision of STOP staff, students learn the basics of music production and train on professional equipment using industry-standard software. Students earn elective credits toward graduation for participating in the STOP Campus Enrichment Program.
Funded by Marin, CA (October 2021)