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Music can change children’s lives.  I know because it changed mine. 

I lived with my mother in rural Guatemala when I was an infant and moved to New York City when I was thirteen months old. When I was four years old, we moved to Buffalo, NY. At the age of seven, I began singing in my local church. Like all new musicians, I wasn’t particularly good initially, but I loved to sing and felt at my best when singing with others, so I worked hard to improve. 

When I was nine, I auditioned for and won a coveted spot in the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys, widely regarded as the premier Anglican choir in the United States and the only boarding school of its kind left in America. It required that I move from Buffalo back to New York City to live in residence as a treble chorister at the Saint Thomas Choir School during the school year. In my four years there, I earned the John Scott Memorial Choristership, a number of academic awards, and became Head Chorister, a leadership role that helps train younger choristers and ease them into life away from home. 

Saint Thomas was an unusual choice, but I tapped into something that I may never have discovered about myself otherwise: a desire to serve as a performer and mentor and a drive to exceed expectations. 

My passion for music changed me and, in turn, changed my life. Importantly, it led me to Cate School in Carpinteria, CA, where I have continued to grow. I was selected for the Southern California and All-State Honor choirs for the past two years, am a member of two ensembles, and am excited to take Advanced Music next year, in which I will conduct and arrange for our top choral ensemble, and to audition for the National Honor Choir. 

Academically, I have found a passion for history, writing, and thinking critically about texts. I’m currently in Advanced History, Advanced English, and Honors French and have been selected as a peer writing tutor. 


Music did so much more than just open doors–it gave me the confidence and skill to walk through them and meet whatever was on the other side. I believe that this is the real power of music for children.


With my music background and fond connection to Guatemala, I recently initiated and developed a vocal program in partnership with a local school back in the town that nurtured me when I was very young and to which I have returned frequently over the years. After raising money via Go Fund Me and other fundraisers, I will be in residence there this summer teaching basic music theory, vocal technique, and selected songs to young choristers much like I once was as well contributing instruments to the school. My goal is to grow this program into a free, summer music camp and to pass on the possibility and a new sense that these children, too, can meet whatever lies ahead because every single child should have the chance to become everything they can be.

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