My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for United Sound Inc, Higley, AZ, USA
In Fall 2017, the Greenfield Junior High Band established its first chapter of United Sound. Without question, this is the single best decision I have ever made for my program and its students. Though there are countless benefits to running a United Sound club, I feel the primary benefit is student leadership.
I am not talking about typical junior high leadership where students make motions to host dances or spend money on pizza. I am talking about developing leadership where young students make a massive impact on the lives of others via compassion, enthusiasm, and teaching. This is a leadership that transforms all individuals involved, and betters our community.
As mentors, my students, learn to collaborate and problem solve with peers, to respect and find value in each others’ differences, to engage in meaningful conversations with a variety of peers (including those with special needs), and to prioritize others before themselves. They learn patience, accountability, and responsibility. They learn to listen. They learn to plan. They learn to think outside the box. They learn that people are always more important than a product. These are invaluable skills to gain at any age, let alone in junior high.
This is an example of how I’ve seen one of my student’s leadership grow. Last week we had two new musicians come into my room to hear the instruments that they could choose to play this year. A rather shy and awkward young man in concert band, who rarely speaks up or raises his hand, is the first to ask me if he can set-up a table of sample instruments for the new musicians. He then takes it upon himself to make the table look professional and clean, puts all of the cases away, and then brings over his peers to stand at the ready so they can play a sample of music. He assesses which instruments are missing, and asks students from those sections to come over. These are all things he wasn’t asked to do. He saw a need and acted upon it. United Sound provided him a meaningful opportunity to lead! He wasn’t doing this to impress me or for accolades. He was doing this to serve others with joy!
The by-product of a growing United Sound program, is a classroom full of empowered, thoughtful, and caring young people. I can not think of a more desirable outcome in education. I fully support United Sound and its impact on each student involved.