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This New York Non-Profit is Striking a Chord With Underprivileged Children

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Roger Carter is working to change the lives of young children through his non-profit Capital District Original Music Awards.

Mr.Carter worked as a math and science teacher for nearly 15 years and says the benefits of music programs are clear. “Music helps children with their memory, dexterity, and math skills, but it’s also a healthy emotional outlet for them. If a child is upset they can let that emotion out in a positive way by playing an instrument. It’s a win-win situation, for the parents they know their child is doing something positive instead of playing video games and the children get to explore their own unique creativity,” Mr. Carter explained.

The goal of his Albany, New York-based organization isn’t to just hand out instruments, Mr.Carter says it’s about building positive memories. “We don’t actually give an instrument to a child. We provide them to the parents who then gift it to their children. In this way, the parents are able to form a special memory with their children. Children can remember very small moments like this that will have a lasting impact on their future and help create a special bond with their parents.”

Mr.Carter’s passion for music stems from his own childhood experiences. “I didn’t grow up in the best environment, my life easily could have gone in another direction. But, music was always a way for me to surround myself with positive, like-minded people. I’ve been making music and playing in bands pretty much my whole life, and now I have my own recording studio.”

It was about five years ago at Mr.Carter’s studio, where his desire to help others through music first sparked the idea that would turn into his non-profit organization.

“At the studio, I always saw this young man pass by with his group of friends who all had musical instruments except him. I know that our schools here continue to reduce their music programs, so I asked the boy’s mother what kind of instrument her son liked to play. She told me he loved the keyboard, so, I bought him a keyboard. That was how it all started, I was buying instruments for kids who I knew wanted to play, but couldn’t afford it.”

Watching these students become successful is what brings Mr. Carter the most joy. “I had a mother come to me and tell me that her son really wanted to play the electric guitar. So, I got one for him. I gave him his first guitar, and now his band is being nominated for an award; watching that happen is the most beautiful thing you could imagine.”

Now Mr. Carter and Capital District Original Music Awards work to bring instruments to as many children as possible and gives them the opportunity to have their own showcase. “We don’t look at economics. We just want the children to be happy.”

Mr.Carter, like most entrepreneurs, knows that starting a successful organization is no easy feat. So, his advice for fellow business owners? “You need to have insurance, it doesn’t matter at what level. It’s something people need to take seriously right away because it will build trust and credibility with your customers. There are certain tools that all businesses need, and one of them is insurance coverage.”

That’s why Mr.Carter is happy he found CoverWallet. “As a 501c3, I didn’t know insurance was something I needed, so I looked online and found CoverWallet. The process was fast, exceptionally positive, and painless. Having the coverage I need has opened so many more opportunities for us, so I’m glad I found CoverWallet!”

You can find Capital District Original Music Awards at 442 Delaware Ave., in Albany, New York and you can learn more about the organization on their website.