“Music speaks to everyone, but especially these kids,” said Russell Davis, a residential counselor in charge of the new music program at Highfields.
The music program was set up through a grant from the James and Kimberly Currie Foundation. Students learn how to read music, write song lyrics and make beats. Then they record their own original songs in a recording studio on campus.
“Right now the students are writing lyrics about their life story and it’s very emotional for everyone,” said Russell. “It’s a great outlet for them.”
A woodworking class is also offered to students on campus. Student James says that woodworking is helping him learn skills to support his family.
“The class is teaching me how to do stuff on my own,” said James. “I’m on a schedule now and it’s becoming a good habit for me.”
James has a 2 year old daughter at home and wants to be a good role model for her. The class is teaching him how to stay on a schedule, arrive on time and help fix everyday items – skills that he can take to a job someday.
“I knew I had to take advantage of the opportunity to work here,” said Henry.
Henry cleans trays and utensils, prepares food and serves meals. He hopes that his work experience will help him get a job in the food industry.
“Highfields helped me a lot with my work ethic,” said Henry. “Now when I leave and get a job I can use the skills I’ve learned here.”