West Springfield, Massachusetts
Heart of the Earth is a non-profit organization created with the intent to foster personal development & support to youth and young adults ages 13-20, who are victims of traumatic life experiences and socio-economic deprivations, and who possess exceptional music and athletic abilities. Heart of the Earth simply offers an "open heart" and a helping hand to all participants. Heart of the Earth’s focus is to provide a place that helps continually evolve the talents within individuals through one-on-one guidance (Hand in Hand Mentoring Program), emotional support, and organizational programs centered on helping participants rise above individual negative experiences, through self-empowerment and development.
The overall vision of Heart of the Earth is that youth participants can increase success in various areas of their lives by achieving individual success through their talents in music and athletics. Youth participants in Heart of the Earth receive a second chance at life and encouragement to defy all odds against them.
The Mission of Heart of the Earth is to help empower youth and young adults by enabling them to identify and pursue life goals and maximize their greatest potential; to be the best that they can be, through their individual unique musical arts and athletic abilities, while doing so in a spirit of excellence.
Artistic (Music) and Athletic Development
This part of the program offers participants the opportunity to receive one-on-one coaching with professionals within music and athletics. Through this method of coaching the participants will receive guidance to help sharpen and flourish their artistic & athletic abilities. In addition, an Annual Artist Showcase is held for participants to perform.
Hand in Hand Mentoring Program
Hand in Hand mentoring is the method used for one-on-one coaching and development for artist and athletic skills. Participants work with other local professional singers/musicians, athletes and coaches. Participants will complete workshops to help build performance skills in the performing arts. Athletes receive self-preparation skills to advance their athletic abilities to the next level in college and professional sports. This includes receiving guidance on how to become better athletes through physical & mental training, increased participation in their distinct sport, and personal support from experienced professionals to increase athletic success.
Self-Esteem & Self Care Development
Youth are taught skills on how to maintain a positive self-image & develop self-discipline while centering on their personal unique appearance. The goal is to help participants feel beautiful and confident in their own skin and to help manage their self-esteem.
Group counseling sessions are available to participants who need help coping with personal issues including grief, depression, abuse and the like. Counseling sessions serve as a forum for youth and young adults to discuss and vent about some of the common struggles and insecurities they face.
Educational Support including Youth Scholarships
Heart of the Earth offers the Michelle Brooks-Thompson Voice Scholarship to individuals who decide to further their education within Music. Individuals pursing Athletics are offered the David Thompson Athletic Scholarship. These scholarships can be used for tuition, books, clothing and supplies including athletic uniforms and gear as well as musical instruments. In addition, Heart of the Earth will organize college visits for participants furthering their education in music and athletics, help with academic support, college preparation application expenses and more.