My name is Hannah Finke, and I am a junior at St. Mary’s Academy in Englewood, Colorado. When I was seven years old, I started to play basketball for a team at La Alma Recreation Center in the Lincoln Park area of Denver. The “Lady Jags,” as we called ourselves, became a tight-knit group of girls from all backgrounds over the next six years. Learning and growing together, we became sisters in a sense. However, as I became more socially aware, I noticed something that would turn into a source of guilt for me: I had more opportunities than most of these girls. Born into a financially stable family, I led a comparatively privileged life, which made me an anomaly on the team. However, as I have grown, I have realized that my circumstances should not foster guilt; instead, they allow me to share opportunities with others. I began to think about how I could become involved in the community that helped to raise me. After analyzing my skill sets and passions, I came up with an idea for something that has always been an integral part of my life: music. Whether guitar, piano, trumpet, saxophone, or a cappella, I have always found joy and peace in music. It is my dream to share this joy with others.
The Lincoln Park area is home to many low-income, at-risk youth. The two schools in this area, Greenlee Elementary and West High School, provide a minimal array of extracurricular activities which primarily consists of sports. At Greenlee Elementary School, the only after-school program that is provided is a day care. Music programs are not offered, mostly due to a lack of funding and resources. Imagine the difference that music could make in this community: it is healing, motivating, stimulating, and is even an avenue for career endeavors. I believe that all people should have access to musical opportunities regardless of their socio-economic standings.
The Lady Jags coach, Chris Medina, is the supervisor at the La Alma Recreation Center. We have devised a plan to bring music to Lincoln Park. With a background in classical guitar training, I am qualified to teach all genres of guitar to the students. I plan on teaching through the lens of current music with an emphasis on basic music skills. The center’s affiliation with the government will provide us with connections to the schools to advertise the program. The only piece of the puzzle we are missing is funding. We are reaching out to our communities to ask for help in providing resources for guitars and music books. We sincerely appreciate all donations. The La Alma Music Program will be the first of its kind to be hosted at a recreation center in Denver, Colorado. We hope to one day see music programs like this spreading to all corners of the nation.
Thank you for your time.
- Sarah Hamilton
- Eric Wiener
- Amanda Bond
- Michelle Adkins
- Meg Flannagan
Organizer and beneficiary
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