Joined by Youth INC Board Co-Chairs Kathleen McCabe, PJT Partners, Wray Thorn, Focus Impact Partners, staff partners and guests and beautifully captured by Youth INC Director and independent filmmaker John Campbell, JCINTIME, we got the opportunity to ‘mess around find out,’ a cornerstone approach to positive youth development employed by Willie Mae Rock Camp.
Brilliantly led by LaFrae Sci, Executive Director, and her dynamic team, we were transported to a rhythmic world filled with percussion, circuit bending, modular synths, and live coding. We experienced firsthand one of the unique pathways used by our Nonprofit Partners in identifying interests and building Social Emotional Learning (SEL), proven to lead to better life outcomes for young people.
A Youth INC Nonprofit Partner since 2015, Willie Mae Rock Camp has evolved into “a powerful platform for girls and gender-expansive youth to develop their creative voices, gain access to contemporary music and audio technology and become creators in a tech-informed future.” By providing access to music education and promoting a culture of experimentation and creativity, Willie Mae Rock Camp is crafting an alchemical experience for young people. Their remarkable impact has been guided, in part, by their partnership with Youth INC. Over the course of our partnership, we have helped Willie Mae Rock Camp with executive transitions, succession planning, governance and access to capital, which has helped them grow their revenue and expand their programs to reach more young people.
Visiting our Nonprofit Partners in person helps foster stronger relationships, understand realities, and create a shared purpose, guiding our actions and enriching our understanding of the communities our Nonprofit Partners serve. As we listened, learned, and engaged, we better understood the individual and collective frequencies we must raise to achieve our mission of creating a brighter, more promising future for young people.
By witnessing our Nonprofit Partners’ strengths, understanding their challenges, and exploring potential opportunities, we can contribute more effectively to growth and sustainability. LaFrae Sci beautifully captured the power of this collaborative approach when she said, “If you can play a note, you can be in a band. Now listen to the people beside you and make music together.” The harmony we seek to create as a capacity builder among our board members, supporters, and Nonprofit Partners is essential to maximizing collective impact.
To learn more about Willie Mae Rock Camp, visit williemaerockcamp.org.