by Chicago mentor Adam Stein

Adam here, one of the Guitars Over Guns mentors. Not only have I been privileged to see my Evergreen Academy students grow musically and maturely, but I have also felt myself grow. My confidence as a leader and strength as a representative of this organization have become, unforeseeably, life-changing.

To confirm my growth within the organization, I was recently asked to accept a donation on behalf of Guitars Over Guns – a true honor and an incredible reassurance that I was in the right line of work. The sugar on top was accepting this donation with one of my best students, Ricardo Flores, by my side. The donation was an incredible gift from Röhlig of four custom-built guitars. Awesome!

A little unsure and apprehensive, we walked through the hall of Chicago Athletic Association, and there we found Röhlig’s team-building event. It was an honor to strut through alongside Ricardo and Chicago Regional Director Andrew DeMuro, as well as fascinating to see this type of production. Andrew explained our mission to the group, and I shared a few words. Finally, Ricardo shared a moving story that had the room silent…and a bit choked up.

In retrospect, this process was much easier than I expected because of how passionate I am about this organization. Furthermore, it is easy to talk about something you love and effortless to promote a business that is looking out for the youth in your city. When your boss and your students are also your close friends, it never feels like working. Nothing is more rewarding.

Before we officially left, Ricardo had to throw down a sweet guitar lick to make sure the new instruments were ready to go. And before we all parted ways, us three boys had to celebrate with delicious Shake Shack milkshakes, fries, and a lot of laughs. Here’s to more great events and changing the world one note at a time.