Can music effect profound life change? Witness a teenager engage their potential to create beauty in a music studio as they forget their homelessness for a life-giving hour, to see that music does have this inherent enabling and healing ability, as we at The David’s Harp Foundation have experienced.
In the David’s Harp studio, music is our medium for change. At-risk and homeless youth are invited to shape their passion into art under the guidance of our instructors. Through the production process their struggles are expressed creatively and artistic visions become reality. The impact of mentorship and consistency on a young life is enormous; we invite you to listen to our story.
In 2007 Brandon Steppe produced music full time in his southeast San Diego garage-turned-recording-studio, which soon became a magnet for neighborhood youth who were disengaged in school, lacking motivation to excel academically or personally, lacking direction in life. Brandon asked: What if we could harness the power of music to reach and mentor students? He developed a program enabling students to trade improvements in their school grades for studio time, expanding his role of music producer to include encouraging and mentoring neighborhood youth to strive for excellence.
In 2009, The David’s Harp Foundation, Inc. was formally established a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the help of Brinton Miller who works for Discovery Communications and now serves on the Board of Directors. In 2012 the program outgrows its humble beginnings in a garage, and moves into a state-of-the-art studio facility in San Diego’s diverse East Village neighborhood. Today David’s Harp Foundation exists to cultivate academic and creative excellence in the youth we serve.
We are committed to uplifting and empowering the underserved youth of San Diego. As a 501(c)(3) organization our doors are open to all at-risk and homeless students from 8th to 12th grade. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, national origin (ancestry), or disability. The majority of our students suffer from a lack of structure, economic security, and family stability. We recruit students through partnerships with local high schools and homeless shelters, working closely with educators and administrators to identify and engage students who are interested in music and who experience academic or social difficulties. We serve on average 35 students after school each week and 15 homeless students during weekly Shelter Nights.
In 2014 we served 142 homeless youth, referred by our partner San Diego Youth Service’s Youth Emergency Shelter. Now in 2016, we are thrilled to see how the program has grown and in turn our impact has reached even further. With your support, we anticipate expanding our reach even further and continuing to cultivate relationships with our students.