Total loan: $7,500


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New York, NY, United States / Education

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A loan helped make the arts affordable and accessible to children in Uptown Manhattan.

Maria's story

As a single mother without any support or family in New York City, I needed additional income in order to pay for my daughters daycare, formula and her needs. I started Shine on Kids after realizing that as a working mother, I was unable to find music classes for my baby that worked with my schedule and were affordable. I also noticed that there were no extracurricular activities available in my Harlem neighborhood. One of the challenges that I faced was not having the money to invest in starting my arts program. I decided to change my daughter's childcare to a facility that was half of the price I was paying. With the money that was freed up, I created my own website, got business cards, and paid for sponsored advertisements on social media. I began Shine on Kids NYC music classes by renting out a local space in my neighborhood, advertising my classes by posting on mother's groups on social media, and I borrowed drums and rhythm from my classroom. I loaded my instruments in a suitcase and would push my daughter in her stroller from my apartment to the space to hold classes on Saturday mornings. I designed my classes specifically for children ages 0 to 4 so that my daughter could attend. Local parents began to join my classes, and parent were grateful to finally have an option to bond with their child that was taking place in Harlem and worked around their schedule. I am motivated to continue to create opportunities for parents like me who may not be able to afford enrichment classes for their children so that families in uptown Manhattan and learn and grow together through the arts.