My name is Curdajia, I have been a member of the LA Samba kids for about 4 1/2 years now. Every day spent with this program has been a blessing. I have gained so much knowledge not only music-wise, but socially and academically. Being part of the La Samba kids has brought out a side of me that I probably would've never let show until given an opportunity such as this. The program simply brings joy, excitement, and warmth to a child's life. I joined this program in the 6th or 7th grade and I am now a junior in highschool, taking the role of a youth leadership student so that I can help the kids that are where I used to be when first joining the program. I greatly respect and appreciate Mr. Sydney, and Ms. Roya Lisboa for guiding us through life and teaching us to express through music.
My name is Melvin Oliver, I'm 15 years old and have been a L.A. Samba kid drummer since six grade and I was 11 yrs old. I was a boy that nobody knew my name, except the boy that does back flips. L.A. Samba Kids helped me learn drumming which was a way of dealing with my anger, and how to be a gentleman in the world. The past four years I've learn about the Brazilian culture and have learn a little bit of Portuguese. I'm now one of the youth leaders teaching the new Samba kids of Muir middle school. Youth Leadership at first was hard with finding my way to co teach other kids, but now is a blessing. I like teaching kids because it makes me feel good knowing I'm able to help others the way Mr. Sidney was able to help me. I recommend this program to kids who are wanting to learn drumming and a different culture that is really cool.
I saw the L.A. Samba Kids at a community fair called Earth Day in South L.A. and was amazed at the talent the kids have. They played Brazilian rhythms and had the crowd dancing along with my daughter who is 9 yrs old and still in elementary,. In a few years I would like to sign my child up for this program, which she asked if she could join and learn to play drums. Great job L.A. Samba kids and keep up to great work within our community, which music is essential for our community.
It has been an honor to be part of the LA Samba Kids Organization. Sidney and Roya are so passionate and dedicated to the students. They take a personal interest in the overall well being of all of the students. I have witnessed a transformation in youth who have experienced personal loss and live in circumstances beyond their control. The participants are taught in a disciplined and nurturing setting offering them hope for their future. It is because of the passion, dedication, determination and commitment of the leaders that result in the success of this program. Additionally, Sidney and Roya commit 5 days minimum a week during the school year, as well as finance the program from their personal finances in order to keep the program going. I consider this program one of the greatest programs however, it lacks the financial support needed to take it to the next level. My hope is to focus harder on raising funds to support this much needed program.
When I worked as a teacher where LA Samba Kids were practicing and learning Samba after school I found myself drawn to listen and after dancing to my car for several weeks I wandered over to find out who was making the great Samba music and was surprised to find out it was our students. Sidney and Roya were donating their time, instruments, and money to teach these children patiently giving them the gift of music. Overtime, the program has grown but one thing remains the same, the committment and talent of Sidney and Roya. I wish we had their program at the high school where I currently teach. The power of music to heal is immeasurable and there are few people who bring music like Roya and Sidney and their LA SAMBA KIds.
L.A. SAMBA KIDS has far exceeds my expectations! I am incredibly touched by these children. I've known the group's coordinators, Sidney Lisboa and Roya for years, but I did not know about their work with these children until October 22, 2011. Despite, I had seen pictures of them and some video at facebook, I never really had attended any of their events. My involvement with them happened when I was choreographing and producing my own show called "A Night in Rio." Two weeks before the performance, I woke up in the middle of the night and something was telling me to invite them to the show. I contacted Sidney and Roya not believing that they would accept such of short-notice invitation. For my surprise and happiness, they accepted the invitation, but due to the schedules conflicts, transportation issues, and other factors, we never had a chance of having rehearsel together. I trusted my instinct! The L.A SAMBA KIDS was the highlight of our performance. They demonstrated talent, skills, and hard work. They played wonderful Brazilian music and also they were very receptive to the love and admiration given to them by the audience and other performers. I am so grateful that I listened to the voice that told me to call them to participate in my project. I am delighted and enchanted by the incredible work of Sidney and Roya with these children and learning about the actual conditions that they consistently deliver music, emotional support, and culture to these children, made me to become their number one fan. The importance and need of programs like L.A. SAMBA KIDS in LOS ANGELES are beyond measure. I just can imagine how many children could benefit from this program and how our future would be in better conditions. Sidney and Roya are bringing to the children at risk so much of strength, self-confidence, life choices, and positive attitude. They are giving this children a chance of remaking their life story and building their future! I completely fell in love with L.A. SAMBA KIDS and I truly believe that this program needs to receive all the community financial and other types of support.