A Year of Firsts

by Ruth Abigail Smith (Executive Director + Co-Founder)

I remember my first piano recital. Yikes! I was six years old and terrified. So terrified, in fact, that I froze on stage and refused to play anything until my father joined me on the bench. Luckily, he obliged. Comforted by his presence, I went on to play my “Mary Had a Little Lamb” variations on a theme, then ran off in tears from the trauma of it all. 
Rarely does any first-time experience go as expected. And rarely does it go without fear and uncertainty that can often stop us in our tracks. But when we are tempted to give in to the fear of moving forward, we must remember that no future is possible without there being “firsts.”  
This year, AngelStreet has had no shortage of firsts, even in the middle of a pandemic. 

Vocal Boot Camp

In July, we had our FIRST Vocal Boot Camp. Aside from more intentional vocal training and many fun activities, our girls wrote two songs in less than a week, many of whom had never written a song before. It was a great way to begin safely engaging again with a smaller group. 
"After writing a song for the first time, I felt good, happy, excited, and not nervous at all. It made me feel like a rock star."  -Rashunna, 11

Studio Tour

During Fall Break, we had our FIRST Studio Tour experience. The girls visited four local studios and one distribution center, engaged with local artists and producers, and even did some spontaneous recording. 
"After I recorded for the first time, nothing really changed except my confidence. I never sang in a studio and I’ve always wanted to sing in the studio. I was singing with a bunch of friends and people that I knew and I wasn’t singing by myself. That boosted my confidence."  -Ka’Myia, 11

Power Partners

In September, we began piloting our FIRST mentoring program. Power Partners is designed to create a platform for our girls to begin to build meaningful relationships with other powerful women in the community. Nine participants and twelve volunteers participate in the program this year. 
"Meeting with my Power Partners for the first time was fun because they were both sweet and nice. But it was also challenging because they made me speak the truth and tell them what I thought. I really love them." -Telia, 12
"My first time meeting with my Power Partners was exciting and brought out the kid in me. It also helped me learn some of the interests of the youth and it made me feel grateful to be a part of something positive and impactful.” - Latese, Power Partner Mentor, Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare  

Hops & Haloes 2020

This is our FIRST year without an Annual Fundraising Dinner and our FIRST year hosting a Hops & Haloes right in our North Memphis neighborhood! We’d love for you to join us on November 11 to celebrate and spread the word about AngelStreet!  Learn more about Hops & Haloes!

We are grateful to have the opportunity to try new things and provide new opportunities for impact, especially during a season where so many things have come to a complete stop. 
We realize that without “firsts” there would be no second. No third. No fourth. No future. AngelStreet started as a small group of 11 girls, many of whom had never sung in a choir, let alone in front of thousands of people; but they did, fear and all. And it’s in that same spirit that we continue to approach the future. 
Our FIRST time experiences give us hope and courage for the NEXT time. And in everything we do, we choose hope. 

{ AngelStreet's original "one-time" performance at Hope Church in December 2013 }
Follow us on social media for updates on our 11/11 Hops & Haloes celebration at Grind City Brewing Company!
Posted by Ruth Abigail Smith at 10:00