Guitars Over Guns & Leadership Miami, Class XXXVIII

MAD Miami/Leadership Miami and the Marlins Celebrate Guitars Over Guns Graduation

The MAD (Making A Difference) Miami team from Leadership Miami helped Guitars Over Guns form vital partnerships this year that will continue to support our programs for years to come. We celebrated their achievements along with those of our students at a graduation ceremony at Marlins Park on May 4th, 2017.

MAD Miami helped us achieve four goals: building a sustainable enterprise through the Guitars Over Guns R.I.S.E. membership program, partnering with Guitar Center to provide free or reduced-price instruments for students, creating video vignettes to share Guitars Over Guns’ message, and organizing our first combined graduation ceremony for all programs in the Miami area.

Marlins Park hosted over 180 students and their guests, with opening remarks by Alfredo Mesa, the head of the Marlins Foundation, keynote speech by jazz musician Perry Joslin, and special recognition for both mentors and students. MAD Miami provided awards for standout student performers, including new guitars, Beats by Dre headphones, dance apparel, art supplies and a new piano keyboard.

The Miami Marlins Foundation and Marlins Park have formed a lasting commitment to Guitars Over Guns and we look forward to future graduation ceremonies at the park. 

As the MAD Miami group moves on from their Leadership Miami participation, their efforts will be carried forward by the newly formed Guitars Over Guns R.I.S.E. group. Formerly GOGO YoPro, R.I.S.E. brings together like-minded Miamians in pursuit of a more fulfilling life in the Magic City. Participants will focus on efforts to build Guitars Over Guns’ capacity, as well as mentoring for youth that have graduated from middle school programs as they navigate high school and the college application process. Learn more about the program here.

Check out the vignettes & show them some youtube #GOGOlove!







On behalf of our students & mentors, we thank MAD Miami!!! 

Diana Beltrĕ: Working with GOGO was a great experience. I was able to experience how they mentored our youth, and how through art, they are able to flourish. Great program!

Monica Sanchez: As someone who grew up in Miami, I have always been aware of the underserved areas of our community and wondered about the children.  How do you stop the cruel circle of violence in these neighborhoods?  How do you keep the kids safe and engaged?  I learned GOGO was doing just that and more. The hope and desire for more as we spoke with the students further supported the fact that GOGO was taking care of our kids.

Lynn Muñoz Rodriguez: Being able to help Guitars over Guns helped me get closer to God! That alone is a miracle!  The experience of helping these AMAZING and Super Talented – Super Star Kids know their Worth and true Beauty is Priceless! I don’t have any words to explain! I challenge you to take 1 year and volunteer. Your entire life and world will be forever changed for the better! Music is an avenue of expression, happiness and love! ONE LOVE

Michelle Costa: Working with GOGO was an amazing experience! Being able to see the impact that the mentors have on these kids is truly inspirational! They are not only mentors, they build true friendships with these kids and give them a safe environment to be themselves. These kids want to succeed and are given the support they need to become successful through the music, mentorship and friendship, they really are like a family. It was an honor to work with such a wonderful organization, and see firsthand the difference these mentors make in their student’s lives. The best moment for me, was seeing how excited one of the first year students was about the possibility of becoming a mentor one day. His face lit up when he heard about this. This is the heart of GOGO; the excitement and joy about giving back a little bit of what he received. Thank you to everyone at GOGO for letting us get a small glimpse of the enormous impact you have on our future leaders!