Jefferson , PA I grew up in a very small town . WVU I went to college to become a musician , but graduated instead with a BA in International Studies . For 5 years, I stopped playing music . Amsterdam 1 year I met refugees from around the world and became more aware of issues relating to urban poverty . Managua 3 years I came to Nicaragua to learn from another culture and explore God’s call for social justice . I also returned to music .
In Managua , the Mennonite Central Committee sent me to the Centro Cultural Batahola Norte (CCBN). The CCBN mission is to build the kingdom of God by empowering women and youth through education .
I began teaching oboe and piano lessons, which convinced me that the arts can help improve self-esteem and resilience .
(Occasionally, explanations of musical concepts also require appropriate facial expressions .)
Learning about Popular Education and Theater of the Oppressed methodologies has helped me combine my passions for the arts and social justice .
Last year, I participated in an arts camp using Build A Bridge techniques with children from marginalized communities in Chinandega, Nicaragua .
… playing oboe in the Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (Orquesta Juvenil Filarmónica) …
… and even sometimes performing with the Nicaraguan National Orchestra.
I n Nicaragua , I rediscovered my love of music and gained more confidence in my identity as a musician . I also began to learn about the role of arts and education in youth formation and community development .