Awesome Everywhere!

United Arab Emirates

Dubai

United States

Alamance County, NC

Alaska

Ann Arbor, MI

Asheville, NC

Atlanta, GA

Austin, TX

Baltimore, MD

Bend, OR

Birmingham, AL

Boston, MA

Boulder, CO

Buffalo, NY

Cass Clay

Chicago, IL

Detroit, MI

Gloucester, MA

Indianapolis, IN

LA South Bay, CA

Los Angeles, CA

Louisville, KY

Madison, WI

Miami, FL

New York City, NY

North Minneapolis, MN

Northampton, MA

Northern Virginia (NOVA)

Oahu, HI

Oakland, CA

Oklahoma City, OK

Orlando, FL

Pensacola, FL

Philadelphia, PA

Piqua, OH

Pittsburgh, PA

Plano, TX

Port Washington, NY

Portland, OR

Poughkeepsie, NY

Raleigh, NC

Rockport, MA

San Antonio, TX

San Francisco, CA

San Jose, CA

Santa Fe, NM

Seattle, WA

South Bend, IN

Tallahassee, FL

Twin Cities, MN

Washington, DC

Youngstown, OH

Operation Evergreen: Guitars Over Guns Program

Last year, I began working as a music mentor with an organization called Guitars Over Guns (GOGO), an arts-based youth development non-profit that provides high-quality music instruction and mentoring to kids in challenging environments. In partnership with two co-teachers, I directed a group of 9 students in an ensemble setting, teaching the habits & mindsets of excellent musicians.

In December of 2015, GOGO was awarded a $7,500 grant to fund in-school programming to supplement our already existing after-school music program at Evergreen Academy MS in McKinley Park. Our Guitars Over Guns mentors worked collaboratively with the in-house music teacher to create and implement units for 317 6th-8th graders over the course of 12 weeks, emphasizing a unique blend of National Arts & Social-Emotional Learning standards. During these lessons, students explored the cultural & historical contexts for different eras of popular music as well as performance-related skills, working collaboratively with their peers to build relationships & persevere through challenges. Each unit culminated with a concert, which for some students, marked their first ever public performance.

Under our leadership, the GOGO after-school program at Evergreen tripled in size over the course of the 2015-16 school year. Participating students cited improvement in their self-image, confidence, & discipline, and 88% agreed by program's end that working in a musical group could help them make positive decisions both in and outside of school.

Due to lack of funding, we learned the same $7,500 grant will not be renewed this year. Through end-of-year fundraising projects and a generous contribution from Evergreen's administrators who believe in our program, we've recouped $6,100 of the lost funds for this particular program, leaving our deficit at $1,400. We are applying to the Awesome Foundation because of their commitment to excellent ideas & to make an investment in some of Chicago's most deserving kids.

Funded by Chicago, IL (February 2017)