Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities. Music For All is a program that microgrant recipient Megan (16) created when she was 14 years old to provide free music lessons to underprivileged youth in her community. When she was in elementary school, the music program was cut. Megan identifies as an orchestra student and met many of her close friends in her music class. She reached out to Sacred Heart Community Service in 2016 to share her mission and passion of bringing free music education to underprivileged children who attend their education program. Specifically Megan used her award to run a summer school program and provide keyboards for children at Gardner Academy. Most of the children who attend this school are living below poverty level.
1. How many volunteers participated in your project? How many hours did it involve? And how many individuals were affected by your project? 110 of us spent 500 hours on this project which affected 800 people
2. What inspired you to start this project? With school budget crises, many underserved schools and community agencies don’t offer art and music education yet the benefit and power of music education should not be underestimated. Music provides a healthy outlet for children who face life’s many challenges as well as a channel to express themselves. Studying music improves their concentration, reading/writing skills, and hence helps children excel in academic areas.
3. During the time period between when you applied for a K4C microgrant & when you completed the project, what surprised you? Pure joy and the power of volunteerism! Seeing the smiles on the children’s face when they discovered the pure joy of playing music is priceless!
4. Overall what did you learn from this experience? Youth has the power and potential to make a difference in communities. All we need are passion, compassion, dedication, and time. However, we often face obstacles with funding. Many companies or organizations should invest in youth who want to make difference in their communities by supporting them financially.
5. How will your project continue having an impact in the future? By restoring much needed music education in underserved communities.
6. How was the K4C microgrant helpful in the completion of your project? K4C’s grant allowed me to purchase needed instruments, books, class materials and to provide a summer program to reach out to more children in an underserved school in my community.