The Boys and Girls Club Program is a partnership that increases our reach to inner-city, under-served youth. The program partners American Youth Harp Ensemble students as mentors with their at-risk peers.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond are the largest Boys and Girls Club organizations in the country. The program draws students primarily from Richmond Public Schools.
Not only does the program afford students the educational opportunities of studying this otherwise financially inaccessible instrument, but these students also begin the disciplined study that leads to participation in other American Youth Harp Ensemble programs. This in turn can lead to performances in professional venues, college scholarships, and cultural experiences including domestic and overseas travel.
More importantly, through striving for these goals, students gain an appreciation for the result of intense work and commitment, developing the confidence and life skills necessary for success in music and in life.
- Provided tuition-free to participants.
- Three established clubs and one pending: Metro Richmond started in 2004, Central Club added in 2008, Teen Center added 2009 and Southside, pending.
- Rehearsals/classes take place multiple days per week providing opportunities for students to develop and hone their musicianship skills and artistry and for mentors to hone their teaching skills.
- The relationships developed between the mentors from the core ensembles and their disadvantaged students are socially and developmentally positive for both.
- Involvement in the programs continues to increase as growing numbers of Boys and Girls Club students express interest in learning to play the harp and more AYHE students commit to assisting their peers in reaching their goals.
- All mentors go through training.
- Boys and Girls Club students are included in core Ensemble community performances.
- Boys and Girls Club students are provided scholarships through the Geraldine Hasselmans Scholarship Fund to attend summer camps.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING........................................................................................
"For years I begged my parents for harp lessons. I was determined to study the harp. Now I've been playing almost four years and in this short amount of time I've already had an opportunity to play in some of the most world-renowned music venues and with some of the world's most famous harpists. Along with performing, I have discovered an even bigger passion for teaching. For almost two years, now I've been giving lessons at the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Richmond, and there is nothing I enjoy more than mentoring those kids!" T. Nunnally