Our Story

Our Vision

A world where music is a catalyst for all children to unlock their unique potential.


Incorporated as 501c3 “Musical Empowerment”
Wake Forest University Chapter Founded
Hunter College Chapter Founded
High Point Chapter Merged with Wake Forest Chapter

Meredith Richard Scholarship

The Meredith Richard Scholarship was established by previous Musical Empowerment board chair, Bernard Glassman, to honor Musical Empowerment’s first Executive Director, Meredith Richard. Meredith transformed Musical Empowerment from a small student organization to a national nonprofit serving hundreds of children each year. In the spirit of Meredith’s hard work and dedication, this scholarship has been created in her name to benefit a young musician at Musical Empowerment who demonstrates the same passion and commitment to music education.

This award supports one year of music lessons (up to $2,500) for a deserving student who strives for music excellence. The scholarship will be paid directly to the certified, Musical Empowerment-approved music teacher who is selected by the student and mentor.

Donate directly to the scholarship fund here.

Apply Now


Board of Directors

Sally Hogan

Retired International Programs Executive, Bechtel Corporation

Sally Hogan spent over 3 decades at the Bechtel Group and travelled the world as an international Program Manager. Sally grew up in Indiana near a musical instrument manufacturer. Music has always been important in her life. Sally is a member of the Duke Chapel Choir and currently sings and plays the piano. Sally believes in the transformative power of music and is a patron of the arts.

Ye Tun

Production Technician Senior at UCAE, Duke University

Ye Tun is the Senior Production Technician at Duke University’s Center of Activities and Events. Ye has a long history with Musical Empowerment starting over 10 years ago when his son began lessons. Ye’s daughter is also an alum of the program and proud recipient of the first ever Meredith Richard Scholarship. As a Burmese refugee, Ye has learned several lessons about life and music that he contributes as a board member.

Dr. Ralph Barrett

Assistant Professor at North Carolina Central University

Dr. Ralph G. Barrett is an assistant professor and Chair of the Faculty Senate at North Carolina Central University. With several years of combined experience as a U.S. Navy Musician and Band Officer, Ralph’s music education spans over decades. If Ralph had to sing a karaoke song, he’d pick “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.”

Jaclyn Hage

Board Vice Chair, Director of Development at NC State Wilson College of Textiles

Jaclyn Hage is the Director of Development for NC State’s Wilson College of Textiles. She has seen the impact music has had on her husband (George Hage of Jack the Radio) and she wants everyone to have access to learn and make music. She took flute lessons as a child but is now more interested in learning drums. Jaclyn’s hidden talent is foraging for mushrooms and she loves snuggling her puppy, Goldie.

Josh Allen

Board Secretary, Former Musical Empowerment at High Point University Co-President, Doctor of Physical Therapy at Duke University

Josh Allen is a Doctor of Physical Therapy Student at Duke University and a recent graduate of High Point University. As the founder and former co-president of the HPU chapter of Musical Empowerment, Josh brings a unique perspective to the table. He plays the trumpet and one day would love to learn how to play the mandolin.

Shaun Andrews

Board Chair, Founder of tech startup and leader at NCCU Men’s Achievement Center

Shaun Andrews has been a mental health advocate, educator, researcher, and community activist for minority children and young adults for over 20 years. While attending Winston Salem State University (WSSU) on a football scholarship, Shaun cofounded Black Men for Change which focused on providing college mentors for students in low-income areas of Winston Salem, NC. From making his own wines, to performing in live theater, to exploring the world, and gardening with his 7 year old daughter – Shaun stays busy.

Cody Lopez

Mid-Atlantic Relationship Manager Secured Tech Solutions

Cody Lopez is a music entertainment entrepreneur and seasoned advocate for youth mentorship. His nonprofit leadership experiences through 4-H and College Mentors for Kids have prepared him well for board service. Cody has a great appreciation for music and deep respect for mentorship. His college years as a mascot (Virginia Tech Hokie) and current gigs as a DJ prove that Cody’s enthusiasm and winning attitude will be a great addition to the M.E. team.

Meredith Bailey

Founder and CEO of Butler’s Pantry NC (d/b/a BPNC)

Meredith Bailey is an entrepreneur and advocate, focused on rural development projects that create jobs in NC through her face-covering manufacturing company, BPNC. Before establishing BPNC, Meredith practiced employment law with Am Law 100 firms located in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, IL. She brings her wealth of experience as an attorney and business owner to M.E., and provides practical guidance on employment solutions that promote growth, compliance, and risk mitigation. Meredith enjoys time outdoors on her family farm in Rockingham, NC with her rescue dog, Fitz.

Lynn Huang

Rotational Development Associate at Blue Cross NC

Lynn Huang is a Rotational Development Associate at Blue Cross NC and has degrees from both Dartmouth (2016 BA Biology) and NCSU (2021 Masters in Statistics). She has also served as a mentor for the Women in Science Project and can speak three languages (English, Mandarin, Spanish).  Lynn has been involved with music since starting piano lessons as a child and then learning the flute and the oboe.

Sterling Wilson

Talent Acquisition Specialist at AMI Expeditionary Healthcare

Sterling Wilson is a Talent Acquisition Specialist at AMI Expeditionary Healthcare and a recent graduate of Appalachian State University (2021 Public Relations & Nonprofit Management). Sterling has been a volunteer with Musical Empowerment since 2019 and was an intern for the national staff in 2021. Sterling has been a musician since a young age and his primary instrument is the saxophone.


Kelley Downey

Executive Director

Inspired by the mission of mentorship through music education, Kelley joined the Musical Empowerment team in 2019. She serves as a music mentor with the NC Central chapter, works closely with the board of directors and engages partners within the community to share the impact of music and mentorship. Her experience as a parent of 3 young children helps to offer a unique perspective to the programming. Kelley utilizes her degree in Graphic Communications to spread the word about the organization and hopes to one day welcome a chapter from her alma mater, Clemson University.


James Moeser

Chancellor Emeritus of UNC-Chapel Hill, Professor of Music, and Senior Consultant for Special Initiatives at the UNC IAH

Christine Moseley

Founder of Carolina Music Outreach, Founder and CEO at Full Harvest

Terry Rhodes

Professor of Music and Senior Associate Dean for Fine Arts and Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill

Michael Richard

Retired Corporate Vice President and Treasurer at McDonald’s Corporation

Meredith Richard

Former Executive Director, Individual Giving Manager at Merit School of Music

Ketura Parker

Director of Development for Carolina Performing Arts

Adam Martin

Associate at Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson

Alex Kim

Treasurer, Former Musical Empowerment at NC State Co-President, Consultant and Data Scientist at Deloitte

Jackie Gonzalez

Finance Director at North Carolina Democratic Party

Meera Chakravarthy

Senior Associate at Public-Private Strategies

Tivi Jones

Founder and CEO of Hey Awesome Girl studio

Lifetime Trustees

Adam Martin

Associate at Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson

Bernard Glassman

Former Board Chair

President’s Club

Co-presidents lead their chapters with dedication and integrity. These are all of the Presidents who have contributed to Musical Empowerment’s growth:

Christine Moseley

Founder, UNC Chapel Hill

Michelle Lee

UNC Chapel Hill

Mark Frank

UNC Chapel Hill

Kara Schoo

UNC Chapel Hill

Josie Johnson

UNC Chapel Hill

Landon Meekins

UNC Chapel Hill

Wes Johnson

UNC Chapel Hill

Michele Hicks

UNC Chapel Hill

Maggie Peng

UNC Chapel Hill

Allie Howard

UNC Chapel Hill

Katie Weinel

UNC Chapel Hill

Kaitlyn Hamlett

UNC Chapel Hill

Corporate Sponsors