16-year-old launches Music Foundation

Ashley Singh

CHICAGO: The formal launch of Ashley’s Music Foundation (AMF), a non-profit organization set up by the talented 16-year-old Ashley Singh, took place at the Tall Grass Club House in Naperville, a south side suburb of Chicago on Sunday February 11.

Ashley Singh is a junior at Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora and has been a prominent member of the Waubonsie music program for the past three years. She is incredibly passionate about music as she started training in Indian classical music at the age of 4. The AMF objective is to promote music programs in underprivileged schools in Chicago land area.

The AMF was formally launched in the presence of prominent members of the community who came to support Ashley and her foundation. The event formally started with a lamp lighting ceremony by Ashley Singh, Rita Singh, Sanjjeev Singh, MaCassa Johnson, Matthew Obrzut and others.

AMF in fact had started in June 2017 and it continues to help students in Chicago Public Schools through the power of music. Partnered with the State of Emerge-A-City, a non-profit organization helping students through leadership programs and much more, AMF has already implemented a choir program into the Excel Academy of Englewood. This acquires students from 15-21 years of age, each either having been expelled from their previous school or had aged out of their grade.

Each student faces detrimental adversities like drug abuse, violence, and lack of security on a daily basis. So through the power of the gift of music, AMF strives for each of these misguided students to be geared towards a path of passion, dedication, and retention.

Ashley gave a beautiful presentation on how music is so important and why every child should have access to music education. She also talked about AMF and explained her mission for the foundation.She has made it her mission to implement music programs in schools that did not have one, to help each student become more in tune with music, education, and their own identity. As a pilot program, AMF started the music program at Excel Academy of Englewood under the name Matanoia Choir as pilot program in January 2018. She plans to extend the program to other schools on south side Chicago in the academic year 2018-2019.

AMF formal launch with lamp lighting

MaCassa Johnson, who is the founder and executive director of State of Emerge-A-City and advisor of AMF, and Matthew Obrzut, the principal of the Excel Academy of Englewood also joined Ashley and spoke about AMF mission, current activities and future plans.

They shared how much the foundation is positively impacting the lives of the students in Excel Academy of Englewood. Following Ashley’s presentation, a video by the principal of Waubonsie Valley High School, Jason Stipp was played. Stipp unfortunately could not attend the event but wanted everyone to know how supportive he is of AMF and the foundation’s mission.

Nothing pains Ashely more than when she hears that school districts cut back on music programs due to lack of funding and resources. To make a difference in the lives of children in those school districts who are struggling with their own music programs, she decided to start her own music foundation. This foundation is dedicated to spreading the love of music among young children. She believes that music education should be an integral part of every child’s learning curriculum.

The launch night ended with community leaders like Sunil Shah, Neil Khot, and Clarence Walton wishing her and AMF well in their endeavors.

Surendra Ullal

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