We live and breathe music. But if you ask any DHF staff member, they’ll tell you that music is just the vehicle – it’s the great connector between ourselves and the young people we do life with. DHF Business Pod (BizPod) Program graduates, David and Jesus, created a video series to highlight what it looks like to move beyond the music. David and Jesus have been involved with DHF for years, transitioning from the role of students to instructors and mentors. Since their graduation from BizPod, they have launched a media company and are leading classes with our staff in Juvenile Hall. There is no one better to tell the story of DHF, because they are the story of DHF.
We sat down with them to hear about the process behind the series and the impact they hope it will have.
1.What was your vision behind this series of videos?
David: Our vision was to humanize the kids we work with; so many people hear about what we do and understand the music aspect, but don’t always see that we are really doing life with young people in a deep way. We want to show the world that a budget, or a title doesn’t make a difference for these young people. Caring does.
Jesus: We also wanted to show the heart of our staff here, to let people see that a title or paycheck isn’t what matters most to the DHF staff, it’s the young people they work with.
2. Can you share more about the process of making these videos?
David: These videos weren’t invented, there were documented. The stories were already there, because they are happening every week. We didn’t discover them, we just amplified them.
Jesus: Being able to document these videos reminds us why we love making videos for organizations and non-profits because without them there wouldn’t be the impact we see in our city.
3. You are incredibly involved with an organization that is centered around music, and yet music is just the beginning of what DHF does. What does “more than music” mean to you?
David: Music is how we connect but the relationship evolves with mutual respect and true interest in friendship. The teenagers that come here are our friends not our clients. It’s more than music because it’s a real friendship.
Jesus: We focus on meeting kids where they are at in life and helping them get, or figure out, where they want to go. Music is how we meet them in the moment, but what happens after is where the real impact occurs.
4. What inspires you to keep creating and making new things?
David: I want to tell my friends (the kids) stories because nobody ever sits down and asks them about it. It’s like they are invisible or just a statistic. They have real emotions and stories to tell and I want to show the world that my friends are humans and not statistics.
Jesus: What inspires me is being able to make videos that capture real moments that impact people. Many people have been impacted by the programs here and to be able to tell that story and show why the impact is so powerful is amazing.
5. What do you hope people take away from the More Than Music video series? If they only hear one thing, what do you hope they hear?
David: I hope they realize that music is just the connector, it’s all about respecting the kids and humanizing them. It’s all about the relationship.
Jesus: I hope people take away that being on staff at DHF is more than a position and music is more than a platform. Having the opportunity to be in young people’s lives and to really care about them through thick and thin is where the impact and real change happens.