GIFFORD FLORDIA YOUTH ORCHESTRA

More Violins ~ Less Violence ~ Better Tomorrows

aka The Gifford Youth Orchestra   |   Vero Beach, FL   |  www.gyotigers.org

Mission

As our contribution to replacing the cycle of poverty and leveling the playing field for children in Gifford, using music as a tool for social transformation, our mission is to provide education, experience and training in various cultural and performing arts, for the youth of Gifford, Florida (and neighboring Indian River County Communities), with a core focus on mastering stringed instruments. Our slogan is – More Violins – Less Violence – Better Tomorrows.

Ruling year info

2010

Artistic Director/CEO

Dr. Crystal Bujol

Co Principal Officer

Jeryl Thompson

Main address

8 Vista Gardens Trl Apt 102

Vero Beach, FL 32962 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

The Gifford Community Youth Orchestra

EIN

80-0605983

NTEE code info

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

Performing Arts (A60)

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

SPACE! The GYO needs its own space! We currently have use of the Gifford Community Center one day a week (Tuesday) for violin classes. We rent space at the 1st Presbyterian Church and the Emerson Center for piano classes, and use space at the Gifford Youth Activity Center for the Choir rehearsals. We need a place we can call home. We need control of the air conditioning for the valuable inventory of violins. We need walls of our own where we can permanently hang posters, signs, affirmations, pictures, success stories, and everything else one would expect to see in a classroom. Currently we operate like an opera house crew -- at 2:00, we set up everything as if we were a class, and at 8:30, we box it all up and take it to homes, the office, someone's garage, or leave it in someone's car for the next week! We need a place where we can have classes all week, and the choir and piano classes will be in the same place as the violin classes. This is the biggest problem we have.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

The Gifford Youth Orchestra

"More Violins - Less Violence -- Better Tomorrows"

For 18 years the GYO has used music as our main focus, we teach children how to play a string instrument -- violin, viola, or cello. In 2019 we added two more programs and now teach children from age 3 to play the piano and sing in the GYO Choir. In 2020 we add Vocal Coaching.
All of the students who stayed in our program until they graduated from high school have either enrolled in college or completed their higher education goal.

The Gifford Youth Orchestra provides music education while keeping children ready to perform on various stages of life.

During our music education year, based on the students' skill level, children will attend 48 group or individual classes, receive a string instrument or have access to a well tuned piano or receive a piano or keyboard; receive classes and workshops in performance etiquette, budgeting, learn how to tutor others, participate in Jr. Toastmaster leadership training, participate in spring music clinics and summer music intensive camps; travel to the campus of a college campus and perform at that site; give performances throughout Indian River County and neighboring communities; and learn how to be have pride in their community. We do this by promoting and living up to our slogan, "Off the Street and On the Stage!"

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Children and youth

Community Youth Choir

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Children and youth

Piano Classes

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
At-risk youth

Where we work

Accreditations

Proclamation from Indian River County Board of County Commissioners 2016

Awards

Golden Deeds 2019

Exchange Club of Indian River County

Affiliations & memberships

Indian River Community Foundation 2019

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students who receive scholarship funds and/or tuition assistance

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth

Related Program

The Gifford Youth Orchestra

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Waiting List for Strings = 7. Waiting List for Piano = 3

Total dollar amount of scholarship awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth

Related Program

The Gifford Youth Orchestra

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

From Functional Expenses: Program Expenses = 136,420. Most parents paid nothing during Covid. Those who did paid $2,300.00 for the year. The GYO paid the balance = 134,120

Number of graduates enrolled in higher learning, university, or technical/vocational training

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth

Related Program

The Gifford Youth Orchestra

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We teach violin, viola, cello and piano age 3 - 18. 100% of the young people who stay with our program until they graduate from college have either enrolled in, or completed their college education.

Number of lessons taught

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Infants and toddlers, Children and youth, At-risk youth

Related Program

The Gifford Youth Orchestra

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We provide music education and performance education to all students every week for 11 months out of the year; 2 weeks of Summer Music Camp; additional classes in November.

Number of free participants on field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

At-risk youth, Children and youth, Ethnic and racial groups

Related Program

The Gifford Youth Orchestra

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

No charge ever for field trips which include symphonic orchestra concerts, Vero Beach Ballet, Vero Beach Opera, Indian River State college, Riverside Theater, Violin Clinic. During Covid, no trips.

Total number of free performances given

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2020, Concerts given on Zoom: Annual Concert, Black History, Spring Piano Recital, Fall Piano Recital, Dr. M. L. King Parade Program. Programs limited due to Covid 19.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The goals of the Gifford Youth Orchestra (GYO) are:
1.) To help keep more Gifford Youth off the street and on the stage . . . and to keep them off the cell phone and better prepared for the academics they have to face.
2.) In order to do this, we aim to provide music education to as many underserved children as we can, as early in their lives as possible.
By so doing, we empower our students to change the trajectory of their lives from poverty to success so they can become productive members of both their community and the larger community as well.
3.) We work tirelessly to raise money and offer scholarships for music lessons and instruments to "at-risk-of-homelessness" children whose families are at or below the poverty level.
4.) Our goal is to keep our students engaged in our youth enrichment program, OR at least inspire them to join one of the other enrichment programs in the Gifford Community.
5.) Once our children graduate from high school and enroll in college or begin their adult career in the work force, we want to stay in touch with them through our alumni program as a resource, for mental/spiritual/emotional support, and to have them come back to either tutor, teach, preach, or share their stories with the children they left behind.
6.) While it is not a goal we focus on, we do want to continue creating the "Good Will" bridge between Gifford and the rest of Indian River County through our student performances. It helps the children wake up and stay awake to the larger community that is investing in their futures while helping the larger community experience the results of their partnership with the future of these children.

The design of this Project ensures that students are engaged in constructive use of their time, supported by family and the community. Practice night often becomes a family event! Students learn to master an instrument through discipline, focus and practice, learn team work and provide community service through tutoring and performance. They are indeed "Off the street and on the stage."

Our Music Education Strategies are:
• Teach the students how to play the violin, viola, cello, piano and use their voice.
• Provide Tutor Training - Advanced and Intermediate students act as tutors (Each One Teach One) and provide individualized instructions to younger students and to each other when needed.
• Provide Performance Training and identify 1-2 performances a month for organizations, agencies, private parties and Senior Citizen Homes.
• Girls Knitting Circle (for girl talk, hygiene, and womanhood issues).
• Give Student Leadership training sessions which include the use of Roberts Rules of Order in student meetings.
• Give etiquette training sessions
• Give Jr. Toastmasters training
• Provide Performance Training and identify 1-2 performances a month for organizations, agencies, private parties and Senior Citizen Homes.
• As an affirmation to our students that they are stepping out of poverty into more successful living, teach performers how to budget their performance and tutoring earnings.
• AND, in 2019 -- to provide opportunities for 25 young people to join the Gifford Youth Orchestra's Community Youth Choir and learn to read music and sing: classical music, opera, gospel, jazz, and Broadway tunes.

We have been doing this very successfully for 18 of the 18 years of our existence!

Out music teachers are all professional, highly trained, extensively experienced musicians. We love our work. We know how to work with the children and parents who join our program. We have always had a loving staff, a dedicated group of Board Members, committed parents, and community support. We have all the right tools: violins, violas, cellos, pianos, and even percussion instruments. All we have to do is keep doing what we are doing and solve the problem of our much needed SPACE!


We are well organized, well staffed, blessed with a host of volunteers, and well respected in the Gifford Community, Vero Beach and throughout Indian River County. We have the support of High School and Middle School music teachers, the Indian River County School Board, The Indian River County Board of County Commissioners, the Sheriff's Department, and other non profit organizations and agencies serving the Gifford Community. We are the only Front Porch designated organization still serving Gifford. We are capable, confident, and caring and we portray this, model this, teach this to our children.


All of our children, 90% of them, who stay with us until they graduate from high school have enrolled in or completed their college education. We always find a way to teach every child who enrolls, regardless of their emotional, mental, or physical capabilities. We find a way to work with them until they can perform at their level of mastery and perform in our annual concert or recital.


You should come to our annual concert on either the 1st or 2nd Saturday in November. You will see for yourself what are our capabilities and what are the results. You will be amazed, because our children are amazing!

Using our mission statement as our long range goal to describe what we have and haven't accomplished, so far:

1. As our contribution to replacing the cycle of poverty and leveling the playing field for children in Gifford: We have accomplished this to some degree by giving the students on-the-job-training to prove to them that they can supplement their earning by performing with and teach others to play a string instrument.

2. our Mission is to provide education, experience and training in:
a. We have started our piano program and already have a waiting list.
b. We have a waiting list for violin classes.
c. We have hired a teacher for our Theater Arts program and are currently recruiting students for it.
d. We have begun our Voice Coaching Program with 5 children and 2 adults enrolled. We are currently recruiting children and adults for this training.

3. We HAVE been successful in spreading the word about our slogan: "More Violins – Less Violence – Better Tomorrows because we have college students to prove that. We also have statistics from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement showing how crime has dropped since the services of the GYO began!

4. We HAVE accomplished our motto of “Each One Teach One" because we have 3 - 5 student tutors every season.

5. Our students developed the theme of “Off the Street – On the Stage" to describe their purpose and we HAVE continued to accomplish that.

6. We HAVE changed the trajectory of the lives of all of the students who stay in our program until they graduate from high school. Of those 9 students who did, 100% of them have are either in college now, or have completed their college studies. In 18 years, we only lost 2 children to the street. Others of the 180 students who stayed our program for more than 3 years, HAVE joined other "life-changing programs" such as sports, drama, chorus, martial arts, or college prep classes.

7. This year we find that WE ARE ABLE to offer (not free) classes, but scholarships to all of our students! Parents are required to pay very minimal monthly dues for violin ($10); Piano classes ($10 per lesson); Vocal Coaching ($25 per hour); Choir and Drama will be free. Parents are required to attend one parents meeting each month to receive any of these scholarship rates.

8. In 2019, we acquired a van to help us transport children from school, home, and to performances and field trips to the ballet, symphony orchestra concerts, college campuses, and the Mike Block String Camp, and other music education activities.

9. In the covid 19 season (2020 - 2021) all of our classes were converted to virtual online individual lessons. We were able to retain 99% of our children and add five more. We needed to hire more teachers to cover the individual lessons, and because we are virtual, we hired one from Orlando, one from Tampa, and one from London, England!

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve children and their families who primarily come to us from pockets of poverty who are spread throughout Vero Beach and Indian River County. We also serve the agencies with whom we collaborate, the agencies and individuals who fund our program with their financial support, the students who graduate from our program, and our staff and board members.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Monthly meetings with parents,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We changed the way we paid the teachers for teaching by giving them a base pay whether or not the student showed up so they could budget their income from us during covid. That was when we had to convert all students from group classes to individual lessons and hire more teachers to cover the 59 student lessons who were only paid if they gave the student a lesson. The change is that we now pay the teacher a base salary for all students assigned to them and a bonus if they teach a lesson. We also explained the change to the parents and told them if the students missed too many lessons, we would either ask them (the parent) to pay for the absence, or we might have to drop their child. Attendance has increased and the teachers are happy and the impact on the budget was minimal.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners, The local non-profit collaboration group,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    A member of the Indian River School board suggested ways we should add recording classes to our program, which we will do as soon as we have our own space. A resident of the community suggested we add vocal coaching, which we did as soon as we found a teacher. We asked our alumni for suggestions and as a result, we added an alumni to our Board of Directors and asked another one to be the Camp Program Director. An agency from whom we receive funds suggested we needed to have more indepth goals and objectives and we instituted more stringent pre and post evaluations and increased our goals and objectives. A new board member immediately asked if we had a chairperson of our communications committee. We didn't have such a committee until this person joined us and became that chairperson.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently,

Financials

GIFFORD FLORDIA YOUTH ORCHESTRA
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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GIFFORD FLORDIA YOUTH ORCHESTRA

Board of directors
as of 08/08/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Dr. Crystal Bujol

THE GIFFORD FLORDIA YOUTH ORCHESTRA

Term: 2018 - 2021


Board co-chair

Rev. Dr. Elaine Word

Retired College Professor

Term: 2020 - 2023

Elaine Word

Professor, Patten University Dept of Education, Oakland, CA

James Parks

President, Roofsrepaironly, Inc., Rotarian

Crystal Bujol

Retired Pastor

Roger Sobkowiak

Retired Corporate Executive (GE, ITT, Citi Group)

Marcus Rogers

Marcus Rogers Tax Attorney

Jane Burton

Self Employed as Certified Environmental Consultant

Oscar Sales

Marketing Director, Riverside Theater

KRYSTLE MARTINEZ

Thinking Ahead Executive Search

Mark Wygonik

FW Productions and M Boutique, Intl.

Jamari Williams

Actor/Dancer in Broadway Performances, New York

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 8/8/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/07/2019

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.