October 12, 2016
For the second consecutive year, Martin Methodist College’s (MMC) OpporTUNEity Program received the Boys and Girls Club of America’s Program Excellence Award for the arts for The Pulaski Boys & Girls Club.
Founded by MMC’s Dr. Melissa Martiros, assistant professor and music program coordinator, the OpporTUNEity Program is a co-curricular service-learning project that provides underserved youth in southern middle Tennessee with a unique opportunity to receive free music lessons and mentoring from MMC music students in a supervised, one-on-one setting. This program is designed to change the lives of underprivileged youth for the better.
“We all owe a debt of gratitude to the 15 college students who show real commitment to the children in this program every single day,” Martiros said. “I am proud that this program has been named by the Boys & Girls Club as the best art program in the state of Tennessee, but I am even more proud to see the positive impact it has in our community on a daily basis.”
This year OpporTUNEity increased its enrollment to nearly 150 children with its regional expansion to include a partnership with Ingram Sowell Elementary School in Lawrenceburg, Tenn. The program’s continuing partnerships include Southside Elementary School, Pulaski Elementary School, Richland Elementary School, and the Boys & Girls Club of Pulaski. The children in the program receive lessons on piano, guitar, voice, violin, cello, and choir was recently added.
MMC President Emeritus Ted Brown said this in response to the award announcement. “I am not surprised that the Boys and Girls Club of Tennessee again chose the OpporTUNEity program as the best arts initiative in the state. This is such an imaginative program that leverages the talents of our college music students to spread the love of music to underserved children across our community. Dr. Martiros and OpporTUNEity are truly leading the way with the College’s efforts to have a broader impact in the community and across our region.”
“We are so proud of the OpporTUNEity Program and the change it’s bringing to young lives in our region,” said Interim Acting President Robby Shelton. “These students are discovering talents they might never have known they had, giving them confidence and purpose. Could anything be better than that?”
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org) has enabled young people, especially those who need Clubs most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, nearly 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs serve some 4 million young people through membership and community outreach. Clubs can be found throughout the country and on U.S. military installations worldwide, providing young people 6-18 years old with guidance-oriented character development programs conducted by trained, professional staff.
-Written by Sissy Garner, Director of Communications