Like many ZUMIX participants, Charles found out about our programs through a friend of his. “When my friend got accepted off the wait-list to take private drum lessons, I wanted to take lessons too”, remembers Charles. “I was about 8 then, and it took me a couple of years to get off the waitlist! But while I was waiting, I got to take many group programs, and it just felt natural. ZUMIX’s community is so welcoming and supportive.” Charles immersed himself at ZUMIX by taking Voces, Radio, and being a part of the Jazz All-Stars Ensemble. Although he had to leave ZUMIX before graduating high school so he could focus on his academics and applying to college, he still carries many lessons and fond memories with him to this day. “Meeting so many different people with different goals, values, priorities, and backgrounds really pushed me to think about life in a whole new way. I think my experiences at ZUMIX continue to help me step out of my comfort zone and do things to give back to my community, East Boston.”
Charles is currently an Environmental Science major at Northeastern University. This year, he took time off to work for the city of Boston at the Boston Centers for Children and Families. The work he’s done this year has helped him gain a better understanding of what he wants to do in the future, and he is looking forward to starting classes again in the fall. He has goals of opening up a business in East Boston to help the community, and intends to stay in touch with ZUMIX for years to come.
Charles urges current ZUMIX participants to be true to themselves and to never be afraid of taking positive risks. He says, “It’s okay to take risks! Don’t let society tell you that you can or cannot do anything, listen to yourself. Do things even if they’re hard, and give it your all. It’s okay to go from point A to B to Z and then back. You’ll learn about yourself, expand your thinking, and be a stronger person for it.”