One of my favorite quotes is "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." by William Arthur Ward. I believe educators have to inspire students in ways to make them successful. I am the band director of the Salisbury Mini Funk Factory Marching Band, a nonprofit organization I founded when I was a technology facilitator at Overton Elementary School. During a meeting at the beginning of the school year discussing ways to improve the test scores of African-American males, I mentioned an idea of forming a drum circle for eight at-risk boys with the thought it would improve their focus in the classroom. When drums started arriving, other students asked to join. Three weeks after the initial discussion of targeting eight students, the Overton Elementary School Mini Funk Factory drum-line was born with 45 students. After months of successfully performing and a growth of 60 students, we expanded to a full marching band. The Livingstone College Marching Band agreed to partner with us and together we hosted the first ever elementary school band camp in Rowan County in 2011. Today we practice twice a week and provide music instruction to students of all academic and socio-economic backgrounds. Students in my program have performed in front of thousands of people and have traveled to college football games in other states. In June of 2016, the band will travel to and perform in Denver, Colorado. The Mini Funk Factory Band motto is “Inspiring and empowering young people through music.” I have committed six years of my life to inspiring and giving youth in our community a chance to become successful.