Updated: Sep 16
Giving kids a voice gave me perspective on what it means to be a good leader.
It all started with passion.
“My passion for music yielded more than just a music career.”
I started playing guitar at 16 after watching a few youtube tutorials. Four years later, I found myself in Times Square performing in front of 1.2M people for New Years Eve. I never knew being an artist was a career track -- I just loved playing the guitar, writing songs, and singing.
But my music career ended suddenly when traumatic memories from my childhood resurfaced and I went into a time of hiding & healing. Music became a lifeline to me during these harder years -- singing & songwriting kept my hope alive as I learned the power of song to transform pain and bring freedom.
Passion is Powerful
In 2015, I emerged back into society, got back on stage, and launched Passion is Powerful, an artist development coaching business for kids. The program I offered brought together all of my musical experience, from singing, to writing, performing, and playing multiple instruments. I taught kids in their homes one-on-one and in group settings. After the pandemic, I was able to reach students from all over the world through Zoom.
Music in the inner-cities of Los Angeles & New York
Through my coaching business and partnerships with local and national non-profits, I had the unique opportunity to produce a two extraordinary experiences for inner-city kids through. In 2015, the kids from Arnold Schwarzenegger's New York After-School All-Stars learned my song, "Free," and dance a choreographed performance at the top of World Trade Center, 4. I will never forget the view from up there.
In 2017, I worked with the Los Angeles After-School All-Stars (ASAS) to produce one of my favorite musical projects, a collaboration between ASAS and OMG! Cameras Everywhere.
Together we created a song with Diplo, Benny Blanco and Ryan Tedder from One Republic at one of Michael Jackson's recording studios in Hollywood. This was an incredibly special experience for the kids and for me. The song we wrote was called, 'Here in America,' and featured powerful lyrics from first-generation American kids singing about their experience growing up in the inner-city of Los Angeles.
Current projects, future goals
Working with kids has radically shaped my heart, my future dreams, and my perspective of what it means to be a good leader in today's world -- all of which influence my work now.
In June of 2022, my husband and I launched an adventure life coaching program for boys, called DG Adventure Life Academy.
While my heart will always beat for music, the scope of my work & projects extends well beyond it now into the realms of social justice, educational reform, and much more.
We live in Redding, CA where I'm working alongside leaders in government, business, and faith institutions to create innovative solutions across a variety of arenas, all of which aim to passionately & powerfully impact society, and of course, children.