• Gianna

#3 "You don't know what You don't know"

Updated: Jul 24, 2019

Although I knew it was coming, seeing a call from New York, New York appear on my phone was so exciting! It was my first out of state interview AND it was Monica Yunus! Monica is one of the two founders of the nonprofit Sing for Hope. Sing for Hope uses the power of music to bring hope and healing and create a better world…all over the world.

Sixteen year old Monica was energetic and goal driven. Actually, one specific goal; Julliard Music School. Getting into Julliard changed Monica’s life, but an experience at the school lead her to change thousands of others lives. After the 9/11 tragedy sent our whole country into shock and sadness, Monica and a group of her friends wanted to do something to help lift off the cape of pain that had fallen onto New York City. So, as you expect from a few Julliard stars, the college students used their voices. Their group performed for the firefighters who first responded to that fateful call September 11, 2001. The trip to the fire hall lit a spark in Monica. A spark that screamed about the impact music can have. Music can give hope and it has a healing power.

So, she co-founded the nonprofit Sing for Hope. She never knew the hope music gave until she saw it in the fire station that morning. In fact, there was a lot of things Monica did not know and she soon realized that what she did not know was opening doors. Monica did not know the hope music could give in hospitals, until she brought a choir to one. Monica did not know the hope music could give children, until Sing for Hope started performing in classrooms. Monica did not know the impact music could have on the streets of New York, until she placed a single piano in a park for everyone to play (that single piano has turned into 500 pianos!). This pattern of ‘not knowing’ until trying has continued since the start of this organization. Go check out their website!!!

In Monica’s own words, if you work hard at something, it will take you somewhere. You have the power to make your life bigger than your imagination. Getting into Julliard was big; but bringing hope to her city is bigger than she could have ever imagined. She stresses that although people are going to say no, people are also going to say yes too. If people said yes to her, people will say yes to us. Like Monica said, you don’t know what you don’t know. We need to go find out what we don’t know and maybe it will open some doors for us too.

So, what can we learn from Monica? School is not going to teach us everything, there is a lot we don’t know. We can learn to start seeing the beauty in that. We can start asking questions. We can start using the gifts and ideas we have.

Monica did not know she was going to change the world until she sang at a fire station after 9/11. What do you not know about the power of your gifts and ideas and how are you going to figure it out?

Since this was a phone call, Monica and I could not take a selfie. So, enjoy this awesome photo of Monica (right) with her co-founder, Camille sitting on one of Sing for Hope's awesome pianos!

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