Destiny started playing bass guitar at Rock to the Future last year, when her friend Camila encouraged her to join. “At first, I didn’t want to go, but she told me that I’d be learning to play music, and she was like ‘you’ve gotta go, it’s so fun!’” Destiny says. “So I ended up attending, and I played at the final performance on stage at World Cafe Live. At the performance, I won a laptop for college and a scholarship to help with tuition.” Now in her first semester of college, Destiny is working hard to reach her goals and build her future with the tools she learned at Rock to the Future.
Music and the arts help youth to develop the social and emotional skills we all need to learn in order to thrive. Through music, Rock to the Future students learn to express themselves, check in with their emotions, and work collaboratively with other students. As they grow with us, students develop the confidence to shine on stage and in life. Our graduates gain the skills they need to succeed, now and in their future academic and professional careers.
Before Destiny joined Rock to the Future, she had given up on music.
“I played guitar and sang when I was younger, but I’ve had some hard times and some sad times, and that made me not what to play an instrument. After I turned 15, I stopped playing music,” Destiny says. Between the pressure to fit in at a new school and the stress of living in the foster system, she pushed her love of music to the side. Fortunately, thanks to the support of her friends and Rock to the Future staff, Destiny started using music to express herself, relieve stress, and build confidence. Having a creative outlet made her feel more like herself. “Once I started playing again, it was like remembering how to be me. It reminded me to be comfortable with who I am- it’s all about being comfortable with who you are.”
Destiny is studying at Community College of Philadelphia while she works part-time. She’s already making plans to transfer to a four-year program. “Rock to the Future made college a priority, and they made it a priority to start somewhere, to keep the ball rolling after high school. They made sure I was enrolled at CCP, even if I planned to later go to a four year university. In high school, my grades weren’t good enough to get into the schools I wanted to go to. So now I’m at CCP, and I’m studying and trying to succeed in my classes. I’m also in the process of applying to four year universities, putting in transcripts and writing essays.”
Through her classes, Destiny was introduced to the education field. She’s hoping to major in education, and working to become a classroom teacher: “I get so much excitement and so much happiness when I think about taking classes that pertain to my major- like teaching kids in a classroom, or learning about classroom management and how to talk to kids.”
There is magic in learning and playing music. We believe that every kid in Philadelphia should have access to that magic at no cost.
Everyone should have an outlet for creativity, regardless of economic status. When you support Rock to the Future’s free music programs, you give every student in Philadelphia the chance to find their own voice.