The first thing we think about when it comes to summer is graduation! Nothing kicks off the summer like celebrating the end of a 12+ year journey in pure triumph with all of your family, friends, and community around you. We know the journey isn't easy. You know the routine: Waking up at the crack of dawn, catching the school bus or public transportation, taking an hour-long ride or trek to school, making it to homeroom by 8:15am, and then having a full active day of English, algebra, calculus, history, etc. (I'm getting tired just thinking of it). And then, if you are lucky, have the opportunity to indulge in an after-school activity where you can breathe life into a skill of your choice, connect with a community of like-minded friends and learn life-long skills. You know, after-school programs like Rock to the Future! (Wink Wink)
That is why we are so proud of all of our graduating seniors! Did you know since we began our program, 100% of students from our MusiCore After School program have graduated high school and pursued college or trade school? It is phenomenal. We celebrate our students by giving them a scholarship and a MacBook to help them with their post-grad plans. It's also our way of simply saying we are proud of you. This year thanks to our supporters, we raised $10,000, and we gifted this to our 6 graduating seniors pursuing careers in psychology, music technology, computer sciences, HVAC, and more.
After celebrating a successful year and our graduating seniors, we moved briskly onto jumpstarting our summer camps – free to attend, plus breakfast, lunch, and transportation passes provided. Four weeks of a full-day camp feature instrument lessons (bass, guitar, drums, and keys), band practice, creative workshops, and more – like workshops with The Antiviolence Partnership of Philadelphia and Vote That Jawn. And get this, through a new partnership with Philadelphia Youth Network eligible students GOT PAID up to $1,000 when they completed creative skill development and career exposure opportunities such as writing a song, learning graphic design, producing a beat, or performing in their summer showcase!
Developing pathways to professional and economic empowerment opportunities is critical because we recognize the communities we serve are in high-need areas. Some families we work with face financial hardships, making access to basic needs difficult, let alone access to high-quality music education programs. We envision that our students' money will help them with upcoming back to school school needs such as uniforms and supplies. But also imagine that the money they make can be enjoyed on the simple pleasures they want and will relieve a (very small) financial need for their parents.
As I write this on a 106 degree day, drained by the summer heat, I am reminded of a term I recently learned: donor fatigue. Unfortunately, the reality is that some supporters grow tired of contributing to non-profits or charitable organizations after having done it for some time. I don't like that term, not because the condition may not exist, but when you have an organization that is dedicated to addressing inequity issues a community faces, we must realize there is no space or time to lean into your fatigue in a way that draws you away from an organization you believe in. That community cannot say “I'm fatigued by being under-resourced and ready to be... resourced.” Not without our help. Not without your help.
We were able to gift our students scholarships because of you. We were able to offer free summer camps and give away free instruments because of you. We were able to pay our students because of you. We will be able to do that and more next year because of YOU!
So thank you in advance. And lean into all of the summer vacations you have coming your way. And then come back to join us this upcoming school year on our journey of creating impactful programs and changing the lives of the students we serve through music education.
Also, don't forget to join us on August 28th at Manayunk Brewery for our Summer Social. We will reveal our impact report, go into more detail about our summer and previous school year, and also fill you in on the work we plan for this upcoming program year. RSVP Here