The best way to understand what it’s like to participate as a Guitars Not Guns volunteer is to hear it straight from those who have done it. This post is part of an interview series where we try to share the experiences of our volunteers.

Meet Christian Asumadu, who teaches classes…

Why did you decide to volunteer for GNG?

Christian: As a rising medical student, it is required to have meaningful volunteer experiences that reflect a heart for service. Having clinical volunteering experience under my belt, I desired to find an experience that was unique and aligned with my personal passions. I’ve played guitar/bass for my church since the age of 12 and thought it would really be cool to share my passion through music education.

Initially, I didn’t think Columbus, Ohio had music volunteering opportunities. I was very curious – so I searched the web and to my surprise, I found Guitars Not Guns. Investigating GNG’s mission, I was convinced that this was exactly how I wanted to give back to my community. The next question in my mind was, “Did GNG have a chapter in Ohio?” I was very fortunate to find a new start-up chapter for Columbus, Ohio.

What has the experience been like for you so far?

Christian: My experience thus far has been so positive and rewarding. I have a heart for teaching, and I had prior experience being a science/math tutor for middle school/high school kids. The kids I’ve met are amazing and it’s so fun jamming with them. It is very special for me personally to volunteer at GNG because many kids I teach, I share similar backgrounds with. I believe it is vital to be a positive role model for kids who look like me, relating to their struggles and showing you genuinely care about their well-being.  

Why do you believe helping to execute GNG’s mission is a worthwhile use of your free time?

Christian: Playing/teaching music and helping kids is an absolute no-brainer! The fact that I can use my time be a positive influence and share my passion for music is a joy in it of itself. I remember my first guitar lesson and the sweet struggle of learning how to play a C major chord.  It is also important to me to find ways to provide the youth of our community positive outlets to express themselves without resorting to violence/negative influences of any kind.

What’s one moment during your volunteer time that stands out to you

Christian: I’ll never forget when one of our students brought in his left-handed electric guitar to class for the first time. It was so cool to see how passionate this student was learning how to play his instrument for himself. It’s moments like that are so rewarding knowing we inspired a life-long love for music. 

What do you hope for in the future for GNG and/or for you as a volunteer?

Christian: It is my hope to see the continual expansion of GNG in the state of Ohio. I am excited to see GNG become a pillar for positive change in our community. This being my second year volunteering, I am so excited to meet new GNG volunteers and especially teaching music to our new class of kids this upcoming school year.

If this sounds like the kind of volunteer experience that you are looking for. Let us know you’re interested, so we can talk about getting you involved.

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