Carrboro, N.C. – 8th March, 2021 – Nonprofit organization Musical Empowerment has appointed a new leader with a history of advocating for diversity and inclusion. Local entrepreneur and mental health advocate Shaun Andrews has stepped up to serve with the nonprofit that works to create equitable access to music education.
Andrews’ history as a mentor makes him an ideal ambassador for Musical Empowerment, as the organization pairs underserved children with college mentors.
He currently coordinates the African American Male Initiative at North Carolina Central University’s Men’s Achievement Center. He is also the founder of the tech startup InspireInYou, which uses music and therapy to provide anonymous mental health care to students to improve their academic performance, lower stress levels, and increase grit.
He created the award-winning platform with a vision to end the stigma against mental illness while improving access to affordable support services. This entrepreneurial experience primed Andrews for leadership at Musical Empowerment while the organization took on virtual music lessons and mentorship during the pandemic.
A native of Lake Waccamaw, Andrews attended Winston Salem State University (WSSU) on a full football scholarship. There, he was inducted into the school’s football hall of fame along with their 1999 championship team. While a student-athlete at WSSU, he and his friends co-founded Black Men for Change to repair the broken social and emotional connections of young black males. He is also a member of 100 Black Men and a business startup mentor for Launch Chapel Hill.
Andrews was selected to serve on the board for his experience in public education, corporate leadership, conflict resolution, and tech entrepreneurship.
“Shaun is a mission-driven partner who truly understands the power of music and mentorship,” said Kelley Downey, executive director of Musical Empowerment. “He reflects the communities of color that we serve and models black excellence. We are thrilled that Shaun will be donating his time and talent in leading our organization to new heights.”
Andrews’ appointment comes at a time when only three percent of board members are African American according to BoardSource.
Established in 2002, Musical Empowerment pairs children from marginalized communities with college mentors to offer free one-on-one music lessons, instruments and mentorship. The organization includes seven collegiate chapters serving nearly three hundred student-mentor pairs over three states. More than 72 percent of the population Musical Empowerment serves are people of color and more than 96 percent come from low-income households.
View a video interview with Andrews conducted by his daughter Aria at https://youtu.be/6-oKK-IwGyA.
Learn more about Musical Empowerment at https://www.musical-empowerment.org/. Follow the organization on Facebook (@MusicalEmpowerment) and Instagram (@musical.empowerment).