This April, our KidWorks blog series will highlight two extraordinary students. All of our students are “stars” in our humble estimation, and the two we’ll introduce you to this month are examples of how your support develops them in ways that make them contributing members of society throughout their entire lives. In this installment, we are proud to feature Liliana Ledezma.
When you’ve been in the music industry as long as KidWorks volunteer Joe Cristina, recognizing exceptional talent almost becomes instinctual.
When he first met Liliana Ledezma, he knew there was something special about this 18-year-old Mater Dei High School student.
She was one of the very first KidWorks students to enroll in Avanti Music, founded by Joe in 2012 to help our students learn from a professional musician with 37 years of experience in composition, arranging, orchestration and production.
“Lili’s a gifted musician,” Joe says. “She has what we in the music industry call ‘chops.’ Her proficiency includes the flute, piano, ukulele and vocals. She’s also been a big part of live performance musical events hosted by KidWorks.”
Joe also sees a deeply considerate and caring person in Lili, who believes strongly in justice and searching for truth.
“Lili does not settle for the easy answer,” Joe says. “She asks very direct questions in order to get to the underlying truth.”
Another strong trait Joe appreciates in Lili is her encouraging nature.
“Although Lili might be tired from a week of school and work, she is always quick to offer help to another Avanti Music student,” Joe says. “She’s very accepting of new students. Lili makes people feel welcome.”
Joe says there is also a lighter side to Lili that’s just as engaging as her musical talent and sense of fairness.
“She’s really funny.” Joe says. “Her comedic timing is just as finely tuned as her musical talent!”
By Glenn Leibowitz, Volunteer Content Writer