Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center
A former New England Patriot visited the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center on Monday to present the organization with a check to support a new music program, the BCNC announced.
Patrick Chung’s non-profit organization Chung Changing Lives Inc. donated $25,000 to help create the Summer Music Academy for Real Teens, or SMART. The academy will offer three weeks of music education for teens from 13 to 18, allowing them to work with professional musicians and learn songwriting, music theory, music synthesis, and other aspects of the art.
“I believe all young people should have the opportunity to experiment and learn about themselves, to be guided by mentors, and to build lasting friendships through a bonding experience brought about by music,” Chung said in a statement released by the BCNC.
Chung, who was born in Jamaica, is the son of music producer Ronald Chung and reggae singer Sophia George-Chung, who had a hit in 1985 with “Girlie, Girlie.” Chung was drafted by the Patriots in 2009 and played for the team through last season but signed with the Philadelphia Eagles as a free agent in March.
Cecilia Chung, executive director of Chung Changing Lives and Patrick Chung’s wife, said she hopes working with accomplished musicians will inspire young people in the program.
“We are excited to bring renowned musicians and athletes to this program to interact with young people,” she said in the statement, “and remind us all that the people we see on TV once walked the same neighborhoods and buildings that they walk, and they come to their level of success by working hard and being committed to what they do.”
The SMART program will run from July 8 – 26, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the BCNC’s facility on Ash Street in Chinatown. Financial assistance is available to prospective students. To apply for the program and for financial aid, visit www.bcnc.net or call 617-635-5129, extension 1025.