If, like me, you’re born into a musical family, it’s inevitable that an instrument or two ends up in your hands. And something about the junction between music and mastery, performance and play, teaches us to grow into better, more creative versions of ourselves.

That’s the mentality the Portland nonprofit My Voice Music is rooted in. Through music, mentorship and performances they encourage youth to gain self-esteem, social/leadership skills and emotional expression. The organization’s values are simple, but powerful: community, relationships, leadership, education, art, trust and experience.

Through a range of musical programs and summer camps, My Voice Music challenges kids to engage in the musical arts as a character-building challenge. They encourage goal-setting, creative exploration, self-confidence activities and friendships. Their curriculum also targets youth whom have not connected to other extracurricular groups, such as sports teams or educational clubs.

This nonprofit also welcomes children from foster care situations, those experiencing mental health and/or behavioral challenges, or with limited economic means. Sensitive to the situations the children come from, the organization supplies many scholarships.

This week at Portland Radio project we feature My Voice Music as part of our award-winning Community Voices series. Below you can listen below to interviews with key members of the organization: