TAMPA, Fla. — At New Life Village, there is music in the air.
“It’s a way to express yourself,” said Liliana Brown.
And there is hope in every home.
This neighborhood provides affordable housing and programs for foster children and their families.
“There is no stigma around being raised by someone other than your bio parents, so our kids have recognized that as the norm here,” said Natalie Gomez, program director at New Life Village.
One of the programs the children seem to benefit from is music, taught by Bethany Thompson.
“I love to see them realize they have more potential than they think. I love to see them enjoying the music. Concerts are really important for that because they get to share music with their friends, their caregivers, their families,” said Thompson.
The children learn violin and cello and escape the stresses of the world for a little while.
“I wanted to try out cello,” said K’lynn McCloud.
“I play other instruments like guitar and recorder, and I just wanted to try something new,” said Cristina Garcia.
New Life Village has its own instruments, so the kids can even bring them home to practice.
They have another performance coming up soon.
“Our music program is a huge part of them building resiliency and character development. It’s a really safe and encouraging learning environment where they are also building really meaningful relationships,” said Gomez.
Florida trails only California and Texas in the number of foster kids, with more than 23,500.