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United Jazz Foundation: music education for underserved teens

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, August 28, 2023 - – With school coming back in session, United Jazz Foundation is kicking off its VI Youth Ensemble music education program for underserved teens in St. Thomas, thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Liberty Foundation.

“The funding of the Liberty Foundation will enable United Jazz Foundation to continue to support the young people of the U.S. Virgin Islands and create a safe environment that will help children blossom and become more confident as they focus on their learning process and on achieving their dreams,” said Nicole Parson, vice president and CEO of United Jazz Foundation. “With music as a tool, United Jazz Foundation identifies, educates, and mentors students to assist them in reaching their potential.”

United Jazz Foundation’s VI Youth Ensemble is a performance-based afterschool initiative for junior high and high school students with a high level of musical talent. Through music, program participants learn to enhance their life skills and build their social intellect, while earning music writing and notation skills. Students also learn to develop self-determination, how to work in a professional recording environment, and cultivate the ability to express their personal story through their craft in a public space. The program will serve between 50 and 75 students.

“There are many students with a high level of musical talent that never get to reach their full potential because they don’t have access to opportunities that can help them fulfill their goals. At Liberty Foundation, we believe in empowering organizations like United Jazz Foundation so they can help music students in St. Thomas become full-fledged musicians and develop their careers in that field,” said Catherine Kling, commercial director at Liberty VI.

Founded in 2013, United Jazz Foundation is a non-profit organization that seeks to elevate the aspirations and economic conditions of underserved youth in the USVI through music literacy, performance and mentorship. Located in St. Thomas, the organization creates and runs music education programs that not only give students basic music performance skills, but also incorporate the territory’s cultural heritage. Students of all ages learn in a safe, progressive, and encouraging atmosphere.

Liberty Foundation has awarded over $277,500 in grants since 2020 to help fund a variety of community initiatives that support childcare, education, and environmental protection in the USVI.


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