Arts Education for Middle and High School Students by Teresa Gunn
Musicians for Education's Street of Dreams is an arts education and college bridge program for San Diego teen mothers who have been abandoned and abused and are at-risk of homelessness and incarceration. Street of Dreams is a public and private funded program that makes a difference in the community while addressing generational poverty and the associated issues of substance abuse, child abuse, imprisonment, and dependence upon the public welfare system—through education. Our story of personal success in society exists for over 3,500 teen mothers who otherwise would have been locked into homelessness, incarceration, and reliance upon public welfare.
“My name is Mandy Galarza Lopez, my association with the Street of Dreams program began in 1998. I was 14 and homeless. As a young girl, I loved pretending I was a famous singer and would spend hours making up songs and singing in front of the mirror. When I became homeless those dreams disappeared within a dark shadow of fear, isolation and shame. It wasn’t until I started participating in Street of Dreams that I found my love for singing again. At Street of Dreams they challenged me: “don’t think, just feel”. Within moments of the class my heart exploded with emotion, my soul sang and the words I began to put to paper made tears pour from of my eyes.
Today I am a high school graduate, a college graduate, and a professional musician, song writer and music promoter. My husband and I own a small concert production company called “Stay Strange Productions”. I am also a paid artist in residence for Street of Dreams.
Street of Dreams taught me that education is the way to build a solid foundation as a pathway towards my dreams. Street of Dreams showed me how to imagine the future I want to have through art. “If you can dream it, you can do it”. I imagined myself as being a successful professional artist—and now my dreams have come true.
I love Street of Dreams. I am a proud Street of Dreams alumna.”