CommunityWorx is proud to partner with Musical Empowerment, a nonprofit that provides free music lessons with the goal of creating relationships between local youth and college students. Those enrolled in lessons benefit from being mentored and learn values from practicing music such as creativity, self-discipline, and confidence.
With seven chapters in North Carolina and one in New Hampshire, Musical Empowerment has a strong presence in many communities. Their drive to mentor local youth aligns with CommunityWorx’s mission to build a collaborative community that serves as a catalyst for innovation and empowerment for the lives of youth.
Music Lessons Benefit Students and Teachers Alike
This past year, over 270 students applied to receiving musical training and mentorship from Musical Empowerment volunteers at the UNC-Chapel Hill chapter alone. Allison Flors, a program director for the nonprofit, believes the number of interested students indicates how large of an opportunity they have as an organization. Although PE and fine arts are often some of the first targets of budget cuts, these programs are valuable for a student’s personal growth and development.
Social workers refer elementary and middle school students to the program, who are paired with a mentor for a 40-minute lesson once a week at a local school or church. Students who enjoy and excel within the program are permitted to stay through high school. At the end of every semester, the students perform at a recital.
Musical Empowerment benefits those receiving the lessons as well as the college students who volunteer as teachers. Musical Empowerment has often witnessed young men and women make deep, lasting relationships with the students they guide. University students who may not have the time to join an ensemble have found that teaching others allows them to reconnect with an instrument they love.
“Music can be a lifelong thing, not just a thing in school,” said Flors. “You can be involved with it your entire life.”
Musical Empowerment and CommunityWorx
When the YouthWorx building opened in 2017, Musical Empowerment became one of the first tenants to lease an office. They’ve found the space to be perfect for hosting leadership summits and professional development for training their college student music teachers. Flors has also found that being in close proximity to other nonprofits helps her brainstorm ways to improve the operations of her own organization.
“We are all scrappy nonprofits that are all in this together, ” said Flors. “I learn a lot from being in this environment. It’s been a huge resource and helped us. We’ve also been to connect with other organizations in the space. If we hear about another policy, more of us can benefit from these resources.”
Zenzele Barnes, another program director, has also find the synergistic nature of CommunityWorx to be both inspiring and practical.While each of the organizations that partner with CommunityWorx are distinct, their passion for supporting youth is the same. From translating documents to finding referrals, the other organizations are often willing to lend their expertise to help out.
“We are constantly building connections and seeking to more deeply understand communities, ” said Barnes. ” In a lot of ways, the same collaborative spirit we bring to the CommunityWorx environment is something we take with us across all of our college campuses and communities.”