Teens Kids About Rachel Fun Stuff Blog Buy a Book


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Harmony Project

I just got an email from one of my best friends from high school, a great guy named Tony.

It takes some courage to share your own good news, somehow, doesn't it? Why is that? We don't want to brag, of course, but I wonder why else we (okay I) hesitate to share good news maybe even more than bad. Any ideas on that?

Well, anyway, I feel so honored that Tony shared this with me. I asked him if I could post it here and shout it from the rooftops -- partly because we need to celebrate good news and good work whenever possible, and partly because (and this is a weird thought) I feel so darn proud of him.

Anyway, here is what he wrote:

...eight years ago I joined with some folks that I did not know very well to create a new nonprofit organization that helps low-income kids through music education. We started with a handful of violin students and now have 750 kids with three orchestras. I am very proud of the fact that we take the research on arts education very seriously and built a program that can really make a difference - and that we put a lot of effort into tracking the changes in the kids lives. There are very few programs that stay with kids through their whole childhood (we even have our own college scholarship program) and do all the things necessary to have an impact.

Anyway, yesterday, the Harmony Project was awarded the Coming Up Taller Award from the President's Committee on the Arts & Humanities. Basically, CUT is the highest honor an afterschool arts program can achieve. Michelle Obama presided over the ceremony. Check this out:http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/11/michelle-obama-gives-harmony-projects-a-round-of-applause.html or this:http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2009/11/las-harmony-project-honored-at-white-house.html.

So, it is a big deal for the organization, and for me. Our student representative to the ceremony, Kiana, was living on the streets with her mother and two sisters when she entered the program. Her school thought she was learning disabled and put her on medication. According to her, HP built her confidence and ability to focus. She is now an honors student and gives back to the program by volunteering as teaching assistant. That's what it's all about.

Why am I telling you this? Because you're my flippin' friend or relative, that's why! And, as a board member of this organization, it is my responsibility to spread the word about it. I'm not asking for anything, but of course if you are interested in supporting the effort, go to www.harmony-project.org or just let me know.

Anyway, you can only win this award once, so this is pretty much it. This is the pinnacle of this experience. And I wanted to share it with you because you, [insert name here], are important to me!

(Back to me, Rachel, again, with tears in my eyes)

I'd love to hear your thoughts on any of this...

Rachel Vail

No comments:

Post a Comment