Building a bright future

Building a bright future

Here at Guitars Over Guns, music isn’t our only focus. Our arts-based mentorship programs empower youth from vulnerable communities to succeed and thrive not only on stage, but also in the classroom and in their communities. That’s why we’re so grateful to have been awarded a generous contribution of $25,000 from AT&T toward providing academic support, standardized test prep, and college application guidance for our high school students. The funding aims to support 45-60 at-risk high school students in North Miami and Miami Gardens, primarily of Haitian, African-American, and Hispanic descent, through meaningful mentoring relationships that foster students’ academic, social-emotional, and artistic growth, helping them thrive on a timely path to college. Aided by this donation, our approach for high school students focuses on relationship-building, academic achievement, and activity involvement that lead to career interest and comprise a strong college application. In addition to test preparation, the funding will help Guitars Over Guns provide college and career advising as students prepare to graduate. The support is in line with AT&T’s goal of creating connections that drive innovation in education. AT&T is investing in innovative education organizations, tools, and solutions; and employing technology and capabilities that are unique to the company to make a positive impact on education. The company believes that every student deserves opportunities to reach their full potential. We can’t wait to help our students reach their full potential. Thank you, AT&T, for helping our students build a path toward...
Marlins Charity Partners

Marlins Charity Partners

On July 13, our students, mentors, family, and fans made their way back to Marlins Park for a very special game. Even though the Miami Marlins didn’t win that day, there was something bigger happening on the field. Before the game against the Philadelphia Phillies, our very own Guitars Over Guns mentor, Alejandro, sang the National Anthem for thousands of baseball fans. Next, the first pitch was thrown by Bob Bernstein, Co-Founder of Guitars Over Guns and father to our CEO. In May, Guitars Over Guns was one of four esteemed local non-profits to be named a 2018 Marlins Charity Partner, receiving a generous award of $25,000. This award was made possible through the Marlins Charity Empowerment Fund, funded primarily by Marlins players, and aims to make a deep and focused impact on South Florida youth through education and baseball, exemplifying the team’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and civic engagement. In addition to the award, we also received more than $3,000 from a silent auction and raffle hosted at Marlins Park. The Marlins’ generous contribution will help us to continue providing no-cost music lessons, academic support, and strong mentoring relationships with professional musicians to our community’s most vulnerable youth. “The Marlins Foundation has been a longtime supporter of our programs and the community at-large over the years,” said Chad Bernstein, Founder & CEO. “We are so honored and humbled by this partnership, and look forward to continuing to impact the lives of deserving youth with the Marlins at our side.” Charity Partners Day at Marlins Park was an unforgettable celebration of a very special partnership. We’re so grateful to...
Congratulations, Class of 2018!

Congratulations, Class of 2018!

On May 29, our Miami students took over Marlins Park for an unforgettable Graduation Ceremony! We recognized all of our incredible students, from those who have just completed their first year in our program to those who we are now proud to call alumni. Live musical performances from students, alumni, and mentors got the crowd moving and grooving, including an appearance by our rockin’ alumni band, Unistiq. Inspiring remarks were delivered by our Founder & CEO Chad Bernstein, COO Jono De Leon, Marlins Foundation Director Alan Alvarez, and a very special keynote speaker – Miami’s very own incomparable video artist and advocate, Milcho. An exciting highlight was the premiere of our 2017 music video, a special GOGO cover of Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” directed by Dre Torres, recorded at Noisematch Studios, and filmed at Jose de Diego Middle School. Our Miami students worked hard to record and film this video in only 3 days, demonstrating utmost professionalism, patience, and excellence! As our students crossed the stage to receive their trophies and diplomas, we felt so proud to see the smiles on their faces as they celebrated their achievements – musical achievements, of course, but also achievements at school, at home, and in their communities. These talented youth are creative, compassionate, and fearless, and we can’t wait to see what they accomplish next. Congratulations, GOGO Class of 2018! Rock on, and always remember to Choose Your Sound!...
GOGO student Jakaree featured in Elsten Torres’ single “Never Again”

GOGO student Jakaree featured in Elsten Torres’ single “Never Again”

We’re so proud of our student Jakaree, who was invited to compose and perform the rap section of Elsten Torres‘ latest release, “Never Again.” Torres, an award-winning, Cuban-American, 2-time GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter, created “Never Again” as a direct and timely response to the recent mass shootings that have plagued America’s school system and society. After being deeply affected by the continuous tragic events that have become a sad fixture in our daily lives, Torres sat down with producer/songwriter Emil Temeltas to pen “Never Again.” Soon after, they invited Jakaree, a high school junior from Miami’s inner city and a student in our music mentorship program, to write and perform an original rap within the song. Torres said of the song, “We were in the middle of finishing another project when Emil and I began discussing the Parkland shooting, and how his 10-year-old daughter and her classmates were very saddened by the tragic incident yet extremely inspired to do something about it. We decided to write a song to help them and to support the #NeverAgain movement.” “Never Again” features several children from North Miami’s elementary school system lending their voices to sing in the impactful chorus of the song. They are also featured in the music video, alongside teenagers and youth activists from the Greater Miami area. “Never Again” is now available on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify, with a percentage of all profits going to support advocacy efforts toward gun reform legislation. We couldn’t be more passionate about this cause. Congratulations to Jakaree on this achievement! We’re so proud of his artistry, conviction, and...
Thank You, Carnival Cruise Line!

Thank You, Carnival Cruise Line!

Our students had a blast at the 2018 GOGO Seminar, hosted by Carnival Cruise Line! The Carnival Music Team delivered a hands-on, immersive musical experience for dozens of our students, jamming alongside them for an unforgettable afternoon.  Meeting the professional musicians of the Carnival Entertainment Division was an awesome opportunity for our students. Rehearsals, workshops, jam sessions, and more made for a valuable learning experience and showed our students a glimpse into the world of a professional gigging musician. At the end of the day, Carnival presented Guitars Over Guns with an incredibly generous gift to help us continue delivering high-impact music mentorship programming to at-risk Miami-Dade youth. The gift included several Nord keyboards, bass heads, amps, drum kits, a baby grand piano, and more! We’re so humbled and thankful, and can’t wait to continue this special partnership with Carnival Cruise Line! Carnival & Guitars Overs Guns in the news!  Sun Sentinel: Carnival Cruise Lines donates instruments to nonprofit for at risk teens Porthole Cruise: Carnival Helping At-Risk Teens Through the Power of Music  Artburst Miami: Carnival Partners with Guitars Over Guns to Give At-Risk Youth an Amazing Musical Experience North Palm Beach Life: Carnival Hosts Music...