“I know how hard it is for people around me who have talent to have a place to express themselves. This is something I will never take for granted.”
If you want to witness the transformative power of music, just meet Javon.
Eight years ago, a shy 10-year-old Javon peeked into a small, cluttered room which was serving as the music space at the Blue Hill Boys & Girls Club in Dorchester. Javon thought he might want to play the drums. Inside the room was a volunteer music instructor from Berklee named Rick Aggeler, who just happened to be a drummer. From that moment forward, Rick and Javon began working together not only on playing music, but also on the skills that would make Javon a confident person.
Yet almost as quickly as their relationship began, it appeared it may have to end; Rick would soon be graduating college, and the fledgling music program might close.
Fortunately, Music & Youth partnered with the Boys & Girls Club to help create, equip and staff a 1,000 square foot state-of-the-art Music Clubhouse and hire Rick as the full time director.
Javon thrived at the Clubhouse, learning so much more than just music. He found his voice and became a role model to younger members. “I know how hard it is for people around me who have talent to have a place to express themselves.” said Javon. “This is something I will never take for granted.”
Now at the University of Massachusetts, Javon is no longer shy. He is a confident young man who recently performed in front of 50,000 people at City Hall Plaza in Boston and opened for the hip-hop star B.o.B at Colgate University.
Javon looks back at the Music Clubhouse as a place he considers his second home. As he explains, “It’s just been a great place for me. I really live in here.”