There are times I get discouraged as Kevin and I build this Foundation. But mostly we are encouraged. The moment we see a child’s face light up because they just learned something is priceless. This is why the I’ll Fly Away Foundation exists.
I have seen many children change in front of my eyes over the past 5 years. The You Can Fly Songwriting Program the Foundation developed has not only seen test scores rise, but has seen a child’s demeanor change in the span of a week. I have seen children with no confidence become leaders. I have seen cultural walls breakdown as children with 13 different cultures come together as a team and write a song. I have seen children who felt like they didn’t have a voice, begin to speak. I have literally seen change.
By no means do I believe the You Can Fly Songwriting Program is the answer to life, the universe and everything, but I do believe it is a beginning. A beginning that has the potential to change the lives of every person a child who has gone through our program touches. A bold statement? Yes. But I have seen it. The teachers have seen it. The songwriters have seen it. The parents have seen it.
I describe myself as a Pollyanna. I tend to see the good in everyone, especially children. I look at each child through the lense of “what if”. What if this child was given the tools to develop his or her potential? What if giving this child a voice stops them from harming themselves or others? What if someone just gave this child hope?
Songs are made up of hopes and dreams, love and loss. Songs are a way people connect with each other. We have all gone to a concert, sat by strangers and by the end of the concert we have our arms around each other singing at the top of our lungs. Songs bring us together and the songwriter is the person who pens words and notes together to unite us all.
The You Can Fly Program teaches children how to be that songwriter who connects children, teachers, parents and community. By giving children the opportunity to connect through songwriting, we have given them an opportunity to have a voice. To break down barriers and build their confidence. The opportunity to change the world. How do I know? Because I’ve seen it. The teachers have seen it. The parents have seen it. Wouldn’t you like to see it for your child?