From: Our Founder-Michael Hunter
As a proud parent, I’m writing this letter to let you know that a great after school program means the world to me. My parents, who raised 5 kids, took full advantage of free after-school programs in my community for my siblings and myself. These programs helped shape who I was to become as an adult and taught me the value of giving kids a healthy environment to learn and stay off the streets. So when I became a parent myself, it was natural for me to seek creative after-school programs in my community for my children. Through that research, I was surprised that few free programs existed anymore. I found many paid programs teaching the same thing my Mom found for me for free when I was a kid. Not deterred I asked many parents at my child’s local public school and one parent had his children enrolled in a free program held at The Eagle Rock Center Of The Arts sponsored in part by Sony Pictures/Animation and Cal Arts. I immediately enrolled my child in this artistic program since he showed an early interest in drawing and artwork. He took to the program like a fish being dropped in water and has been fortunate to take part in those tuition-free classes for the past nine years! Seeing him come full circle by attending Cal Arts on a full scholarship and working now, as a student instructor at the same program is a dream come true for him and me! Thanks to his after-school experience, he’s developed his passion for art and started attending Cal Arts, his dream school of choice, in the fall of 2014.
As a single parent, without the free tuition and the full scholarship support he would not have been able to continue on to this prestigious college and his dream school, Cal Arts. I’m very grateful to the after-school program he started attending at a young age, for their support in making this all possible. In my spirit of giving back, I decided to create the Kids Rock Studio after-school program and use the CAP program as a business model to mirror the success of that program. I was able to witness first hand the lasting impact it had on him and my family, with his 9 years spent there, that helped to shape his future.
Many kids today have personal struggles and need a place to go and be creative in a positive and structured environment. Your help and generous donation can impact a child’s future. We will partner donors with a child in the program to create a partnership where both kid and Mentor will feel a sense of accomplishment. We also want kids to have the same opportunity to explore their musical desires and make it tuition free for those families that struggle to make ends meet, like myself, when I was searching for free after school programs for my child.
With the mentorship given to my child at his after-school program, and the ability to see the work of experts and get to know many of them and learn about his chosen career path, he felt comfortable and was able to thrive in a safe and healthy environment. At Kids Rock Studio, we will employ industry professionals that are not only gifted in their craft, but also are great mentors who work well with children. We will also provide a safe haven and give opportunities to those less fortunate in hopes that we can steer a child on the same path as my child. To be able to reach their goals and attend college doing what it is that they love to do. We want to provide less than fortunate families and their kids with the same opportunity to flourish at Kids Rock Studio.
In fact, given my child’s fortitude to stick with what he’s passionate about, he has positively influenced my life, as well-and I’ve been inspired to follow a new path. Three years ago I was working 60 hours a week in a corporate job. Through volunteering at a local hospital, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, as a music therapist, I decided to pursue my initial passion for music that I had as a young child, which I had turned away from many years ago. I’m now starting this non-profit after-school program Kids Rock Studio to work with kids in all areas of music, specifically music production, which has always been a passion of my own.
Kids Rock Studio is a fantastic after-school program, and strives to be a blessing for those less fortunate who can’t afford classes that teach the arts. We’ve done the research and there are no tuition free after-school programs of this specific kind currently. We want to be the first program of this type in our community! To show the success of the program and share with other communities in hopes that this idea can spread worldwide and there are more Kids Rock Studios in every community! We want every child to have free access to the tools needed to thrive in the music business and in their lives. Through Kids Rock Studio we will have all the tools necessary for kids to learn and thrive.
We are sincerely thankful that you will help us achieve that through donor support.
Please consider making a donation to Kids Rock Studio to have it be tuition free and to open our doors and keep kids off the street and in our fun and exciting after-school program.
Michael Hunter-Creator of Kids Rock Studio
My Son, Benjamin Hunter, with his 2014 1st Place National winning art piece, presented by 34th Congressional District Congressman, Xavier Beccera.