You are here

State Honoree

Ryan Glass

New York

Ryan Glass, 18, of Setauket, N.Y., a senior at Ward Melville High School, organized the Music Makers, a club that gives private music lessons to underprivileged children. After seeing how many people volunteered to serve food at a community soup kitchen, Ryan decided to help by sharing music with the children who ate there. “I felt it important to start this project because of studies I have read, which show that students who study music perform better in school than those who do not,” Ryan said. “I wanted to help these children increase their chances of making a success of their lives.” Ryan realized that he couldn’t teach every interested child himself, so he recruited volunteers from his school’s music department. To fund the purchase of instruments and music, Ryan sought donations from the community, organized raffles and other fund-raisers, and formed a swing band to play at school performances and private parties. Ryan’s club now provides private instrumental lessons and other musical experiences (including a jam band) free of charge to dozens of needy children at both a community soup kitchen and nearby youth rehabilitation home.