Youth Programs

Youth have the power to transform society. But with limited access to education and vocational skills, many are exploited - early marriage, manual labor, trafficking - in the fight against global poverty. Our multidisciplinary programs use music as an alternative tool to teach vulnerable youth critical life skills.


Because music plays such an important role in most indigenous cultures, this methodology allows us to teach participants in one common language without creating social conflict. We conduct a series of workshops that promote the importance of education, leadership, health education, human rights and financial independence. These lessons are delivered through a combination of creative expression and practical application. In our "transformative" model (6 weeks), these



music-based lessons are transformed into our original social justice musical, "Amazing Grace". Each song confronts the paralyzing socio-economic issues - AIDS, conflict, substance abuse, teen  pregnancy - that affect vulnerable communities every day. Our STEAM-based programs use music and the arts to teach core STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) subjects. Through this approach, our students have increased their test scores in upwards of 30% in math and 20% in science in less than 2 weeks! By nurturing young minds we can build stronger communities and end global poverty!



Dominican Republic, 2008


Education is the only way to true social and financial freedom. But factors such as gender, geography, socio-economic status and even cultural beliefs often prevent most youth from reaching their full potential.  College is a critical step for anyone, but in the developing world poverty prevents many students from advancing their education. And for those that do achieve this next step, they struggle with a range of issues from undiagnosed childhood emotional traumas to buying books to complete their education. Without critical skills needed to cope and thrive in this new environment, many college-aged youth are at a higher risk of dropping out and slipping right back into a cycle of poverty that can lead to social conflict, substance abuse, pregnancy, labor and trafficking. Through a series of interactive workshops, students will develop leadership and mentoring skills, learn the benefits of collaborative partnerships, create high social impact businesses and learn how to transform pain and struggle into power.    

Botwsana, 2011

"You have made such a huge impact on my life. You showed me that one can come from nothing and still make a difference in people's lives. You made me want to become so much more. I love you."


- Former STEAM Participant

Graduating Senior HS Student

(Richmond, VA)

change rocks