ASP of NJ Youth visit White House for Grammy Museum music education program

Published by

It was a beautiful fall Friday when five Development School for Youth (DSY) alumni from the All Stars Project of New Jersey arrived at the White House for the Grammy Museum’s musical workshop series last month.  The Grammy Museum at the White House brought 130 students from across the country together to celebrate the arts and different elements of American music.  There, in the East Wing Dining Room, students were inspired by First Lady, Michelle Obama’s opening remarks encouraging young people to dream big and succeed scholastically.

Throughout the evening, the young people also heard from artists Michelle Williams and Yolanda Adams about the importance of preparation and making and maintaining good impressions, as the keys to success.  All Stars youth led a phenomenal performance by engaging and asking questions. One of our DSY Alum, Bayyianah Akbar (18 years old), reflected on Michelle Obama’s advice by saying, “One of the things that stuck with me in this amazing experience is when Michelle Obama talked about “preparation” which I immediately related back to DSY, because that was one of the key factors of the program. To develop yourself is to perform in different scenarios whether it is expected or not. Over the course of the weeks in DSY we are taught to dress the part and prepare for roles we might take on in society. Visiting the White House truly made me remember that the sky is the limit and no dream is too big. There are many good things that come out of Newark, including the people, and as we slowly take on these new roles, even the White House is where we are making our stand!”

This trip highlighted what the All Stars is all about – we give inner-city youth the opportunity to step outside of their comfort zones in order to see and act on new possibilities. We are so thankful to receive this special invitation from the Grammy Museum and Prudential Center and to the John & Cathy Andrus fund for Future All Stars for making this unforgettable experience possible!