At the Rotary Club's Scholarshiip Awards Ceremony, Blue Jay Jazz Foundation Board Members Dr. Hugh Bialecki and Chris Levister (left),
and Rotary's Jack Winston (right), congratulate winners Joshua Mainez, Madeline Zweber, and Gavin Harris (center)
Among the education programs Blue Jay Jazz Foundation administers each year are the annual jazz education scholarships for graduating high school students in the San Bernardino Mountain communities. Launched in 2008, immediately after the Blue Jay Jazz Foundation was established as a non-profit educational institution, these scholarships – along with grants and music internships – have helped with inspire community young people through their high school years and make the jump to enroll in colleges and universities around the country.
Since 2008, Blue Jay Jazz has provided tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships so support and encourage committed student musicians.
Beginning in 2016, the Lake Arrowhead Rotary Club began partnering in the scholarship program, contributing $500 annually to inspiring aspiring ‘young jazz lions’ develop imaginative thinking, creativity, curiosity, a positive self image, and a respect for their and others' cultural heritage.
In recent years, school music programs have been gutted by budget cuts. The result? Many of our schools can’t provide instruments to their music students. A study at the University of Kansas revealed that students with superior music education programs scored around 22 percent higher in English and 20 percent higher in math scores on standardized tests. Our students deserve to expand their potential for creativity, discipline, and academic achievement.
In spite of the challenges, our music programs are finding ways to thrive. Interest is at an all-time high, but acquiring instruments and sheet music for all the interested students has become very difficult.