"I’ve wanted a private teacher since I was 12 years old…although I practice almost every day, progress is rather limited when you teach yourself. I mean, how do you teach yourself what you don’t know? You can imagine how intensely happy I was to discover I COULD somehow follow my dream to be a better violinist with a teacher.”
Maria Veronica was first introduced to SKJAJA when she requested funding for her school orchestra gown. The following year she was able to attend private lessons. Within the first year she became the 1st violin in the NC Eastern Regional Orchestra. In addition to painting this mural at East Chapel Hill High, Maria Veronica painted the school’s music stands, and worked after school for her orchestra teacher. She also did home chores for her violin teacher to help offset the cost of her lessons. After 2½ years of private lessons, she graduated from high school and won the 2015 National School Orchestra Award – the highest honor bestowed upon a high school orchestra member. Maria Veronica currently attends Haverford College on scholarship and continues to play the violin.
Aatia attended YMCA Camp Hanes for five summers in return she completedh some of the most amazing pay it forward projects. When she was first funded in 6th grade she volunteered at her elementary school, Ephesus, during summer school. The following year Aatia created a toiletries drive for the victims of the Haiti earthquake. She arranged to have them delivered to the residents via the Red Cross. Another year Aatia collected grocery gift cards and gave them to the social workers in her schools – she knew that families in need could use this help all year – not just during the holidays.
Aatia has been very blessed to attend camp in the mountains (5 years), at Camp Hanes. This was an experience that helped her grow, learn and challenge herself to do things she never thought she could. Not to mention the friendships she has developed with the staff, counselors, and her fellow campers. This was her first big step away from home...but not her last. – Letitia Davis, mother