Rising Star Calls Clubhouse Home


Amanda Mena performs at the La Voz Kids finale

In the midst of her new-found fame, Amanda stays grounded to her roots.

At 11-years-old Amanda Mena of Lynn is already on her way to stardom.

After winning the 2014 season of La Voz Kids, the Spanish version of The Voice, Amanda’s life went into overdrive. Since June, she has sung at a Red Sox game, hired a business manager, and spent the summer in the studio developing her first album.

Yet despite the whirlwind, Amanda took the time to stop in to the Lynn Music Studio Clubhouse at the YMCA Metro North, where this journey began and where she still feels she belongs.

The Lynn Clubhouse opened in 2011 in partnership with Music & Youth. “We all worked on it for a year -we knew it would be a good fit,” said YMCA Associate Executive Director Gregg Ellenberg.

And it was. The Lynn Music Studio attracted urban youth and gave them a place to express themselves through music. It attracted Amanda Mena.


Amanda’s “welcome home” a the Lynn YMCA after winning La Voz Kids

Studio Director Helder Tsinine said he knew from the minute Amanda walked into the studio that she was special.

“She was shy, but her friend pushed her,” he said. The friend told him, “She can really sing!”

Tsinine said Amanda sang that day and everyday thereafter in the Clubhouse Studio. It’s where she filmed her audition video that earned her a spot on La Voz Kids.

While Amanda has shot to fame from her connection to the Clubhouse, she is not the only young musician to find her footing there. For every Amanda there are five more kids simply having fun, learning a skill and becoming inspired to try harder in other aspects of their lives, Tsinine said.

Ellenberg said that’s because the Clubhouse isn’t just about music, but it’s also about mentoring and partnerships between kids and community that can sometimes lead to stardom and sometimes just give kids a place that feels like home.