Graduate project

A harmonious empowerment of foster youth: a grand proposal for music education

This graduate project was to develop and submit a grant proposal aiming to get funding for the implementation of an afterschool music program at a non-public school. There is an overwhelming amount of research that supports music as a supporting tool in helping various disfranchised groups, especially child development and educational success (Dumont, Syurina, Feron, & Hooren, 2017). Many foster youth miss out on extra-curricular activities (such as band, dance, and music) that are known to be important to academic success and personal development (Dumont, Syurina, Feron, & Hooren, 2017). Studies have shown that youth who have experienced neglect, with 30 to 96% performing below grade level in the subjects of reading and math (Morton, 2015). It is estimated that because of this past maltreatment, around 56,000 foster youth have a compromised developmental and mental state. Furthermore, about 25% of these youth are intellectually challenged, while 16% have an identified learning disability (Morton, 2015). Around 46% of the youth in group homes are placed in non-public schools (NPS) due to their learning behavior and emotional disabilities (Woodward, 2005). School-based music activities provide a number of positive benefits for foster youth, such as providing opportunities for cultural preservation and verbal/non-verbal communication (Dumont, Syurina, Feron, & Hooren, 2017). It can also facilitate interactive connections, social unity, and youth empowerment.