Sydney Guerrette, founder of Be The Change Youth Initiative, has traveled the United States encouraging youth to serve their communities. Through a partnership with Songbirds Foundation, Ms. Guerrette is combining her love for music and empowering youth as she rallies them to help raise $10,000 for the Songbirds Foundation’s Guitars for Kids Program.
In 2016, for her 15th birthday, Ms. Guerrette wanted to grant the wish of a child through Make-A-Wish America. Unable to raise the money on her own, she asked her friends to help through the simple act of doing the things they love. Four years later, the 18-year-old has traveled across the country encouraging youth to use their gifts and talents to help others. Through the simple acts of painting, reading, and building Legos, they have raised almost $50,000 for various organizations, including Make-A-Wish America, Hands and Feet Project, and To Write Love on Her Arms.
As part of her current partnership with Songbirds Foundation, Ms. Guerrette is combining two of her passions: music and kids.
“I have two passions in life: creating music and encouraging kids to use their gifts to serve their
communities," said Ms. Guerrette. "Right now, more than ever, I’m committed to empowering youth to see how important their voices are and how, when we work together, we can create a positive change in the world. Our partnership with Songbirds Foundation is even more important because the gift of music has had a profound impact on our family. My brother Brayden’s struggle with depression and suicidal ideation was such a dark time for our family, but music helped him process his thoughts and communicate his pain. It was such an important part of his healing process and one of the reasons we want to support Guitars for Kids.”
Songbirds Foundation’s Guitars for Kids program was created to restore and revive the school music experience, providing students with the basic fundamentals and a diverse range of playing styles and techniques. Students also develop their social-emotional capacity as they learn to work through social, health, and life issues with certified music therapists. While working in groups, students create friendships and establish musical bonds with other players. This type of group interaction is essential for kids who have experienced bullying or have atypical developments
such as autism, Down syndrome, or Asperger’s, said officials.
"Over the past five years we have seen hundreds of kids grow through music and overcome some major life obstacles,” said Reed Caldwell, executive director of Songbirds Foundation. “We are so proud to be able to provide a robust musical education to students all over the state. It is super cool to see kids like Sydney and Brayden deciding to give back and help us accomplish our goals.”
To support Be The Change Youth Initiative’s Fundraising Initiative, there are four ways to get involved:
1. Encourage a child between the ages of 5 and 17 to use their gifts and talents to help. Be
The Change Youth Initiative has created an easy-to-follow packet to help make the fundraising process simple: https://www.bethechangeyi.com/downloadsffp
2. Invite Ms. Guerrette and her brother to share more about the Songbirds Foundation Initiative and the importance of encouraging youth to use their gifts and talents to serve their community. Using their own gifts, Sydney and Brayden will share their stories, personal struggles and original music, including a song written specifically for Songbirds Foundation. Fill out the Event Form here: https://www.bethechangeyi.com/eventform
3. Purchase a T-shirt created specifically for this Initiative. One hundred percent of the profits from the sale of the “Love is an Action” T-shirt goes directly to the fundraising goal. You can view the shirt here: https://www.bethechangeyi.com/shop/love-is-an-action-t-shirt
4. Donate directly to the Songbirds Foundation. All donations through this link will go towards the fundraising goal of $10,000: https://donorbox.org/bethechange
You can catch Sydney and Brayden performing at Chattanooga Unite every Saturday from 4-6 p.m. (Tennessee Riverpark at 4301 Amnicola Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 37402) For more information on the Fundraising Initiative visit https://www.bethechangeyi.com/songbirds