We find that the philanthropic aspect of Plugged In has a far-reaching effect on the program. Each session, the Plugged In teen bands perform in a live benefit concert. At the beginning of the session, Plugged In students get together at an event called ‘Community Engage’ and present to each other charitable organizations and causes that are important to them. Students explain how they learned about the charities, what needs are met by the organizations and why they feel it is important to support the organizations. At the end of the evening, students vote to determine the charitable organization for which the concert will raise money. Also at each Community Engage evening, an adult whose career involves using art to effect social change speaks with the students.
This process has a unique way of accessing compassion in the students, which has a profound effect on the atmosphere at Plugged In. Students feel safe being kind and helpful to each other, which creates an environment where they feel comfortable taking risks. The end result is that students gain self-confidence and trust in themselves and others. Plugged In provides an opportunity for teenagers to give back and learn how great it feels to help others.
We find that after students participate in Plugged In, the act of giving back becomes part of who they are. Many students begin to incorporate charitable work in their daily lives, such as organizing concerts, helping their peers and/or raising money for causes that are important to them.
Plugged In Teen Band Program
146 Warren St.
Needham, MA 02492