Your donations to the Season for Sharing campaign benefits local non-profits that help boost education, help older adults, aid victims of domestic violence and support children and families. azcentral.com
This is one in a series of profiles of people whose lives have been changed thanks to a non-profit supported by Season for Sharing. To donate to this year’s campaign, go to sharing.azcentral.com.
For nearly 20 years, the Phoenix Conservatory of Music has been providing affordable, accessible music education to children and teenagers around the Valley.
Through after-school programs, group and private lessons, PCM serves more than 2,400 kids each year. The organization’s College Prep Program, in partnership with Boston’s Berklee College of Music, is one of Arizona’s most successful with a 95 percent high school graduation rate.
PCM received a $5,000 Season for Sharing grant last year to help economically disadvantaged families afford the college prep program.
Lourde Childs, a 13-year-old from Peoria, is a member of the program. He’s been playing violin since he was 6, but PCM helped him find an additional instrument: his voice. The nonprofit offers lessons in guitar and piano, percussion and string instruments, voice, and audio production.
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Lourde shares his story:
“I love music and want to embrace it. Through my involvement in the College Prep Program, I have enjoyed many of the opportunities offered to me, both through collaborating with other students and performing.
“When my parents learned about Phoenix Conservatory of Music’s College Prep Program, they recognized an opportunity to fill a void left by the lack of music programs within the school system. My brother and I, both violinists, saw a new opportunity to play with a group and perform in front of an audience.
“I have been playing the violin since the age of 6, but PCM’s College Prep Program guided me into transitioning to my ‘real’ instrument, my voice. Each year, I have been challenged to learn different musical genres, adding each element to my expanding repertoire.
“Supported by a family of musicians and music lovers, they guided the faith in my art. The College Prep Program has been a gateway for me.
“One of my favorite PCM memories is when I performed at the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award Ceremony in Washington D.C., where the Phoenix Conservatory was a national award recipient. My accompanist, Michael Rodriguez, and I performed ‘Man in The Mirror’ recorded by Michael Jackson, written by Glen Ballard and Siedah Garrett; produced by Quincy Jones, and received a standing ovation. I was shook. I can see that my dreams of becoming a professional musician are beginning to come true.”
How to donate to Season for Sharing
We send 100 percent of your donations to local non-profits:
- Fill out the online form at sharing.azcentral.com.
- Use the coupon on 4A of The Arizona Republic and mail donations to P.O. Box 29250, Phoenix, AZ 85038-9250.
- Text “sharing” to 91-999 and click on the link in the text message.
- Call 602-444-8749 weekdays to donate by phone.
Who is helped
Last year, 159 agencies received $2.4 million. Since 1993, more than $60 million has been distributed.
Where the money goes
It all stays in Arizona. One hundred percent of your donations and the matching funds go directly to non-profit agencies in the state. All overhead and fundraising costs are paid by The Arizona Republic/azcentral.com.
How your dollars help
The Gannett Foundation and the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust will multiply your donation by matching your gift 50 cents on the dollar up to $600,000.
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