John Hornsby

Daily Point of Light # 1359 Apr 20, 1999

Every person is truly a good person. This is the belief that motivates musician John Hornsby to help teens from low-income households in Charlottesville, VA. He seeks to keep them from falling prey to the lures of alcohol, sex or drug dependency. In doing so, John needed a vehicle through which to accomplish his goals that would be enjoyable for this younger generation and would create voluntary and mass participation. He found such a vehicle in popular music (Rock, Rap, R&B, etc.).

In June of 1995, after substantial planning and foresight, John opened the doors of the Music Resource Center—a six-studio drop-in center for 7th through 12th graders that is open six days a week, all year long. He organized a Board of Directors comprised of musicians with similar community interests and proceeded to raise money, find space for the Center and recruit staff. He now contributes anywhere from 15 to 50 hours per week to the youth music program that has affected well over 1,000 teens to date through his compassionate efforts.

Through music, John inspires these teenagers to set and achieve their goals while keeping them out of trouble and providing the opportunity for real growth. In addition to enabling them to create music, John provides an atmosphere where the youth can work cooperatively with others, gain new skills, receive meaningful mentoring and build self-respect which makes them less vulnerable to peer pressure in the long run. In this sense, John embodies the true meaning of visionary with his long-range plan to help the school kids in his community.

When making decisions regarding the Center, John follows the philosophy of "what's best for the kids." He has found a way to use various types of popular music in constructive ways to produce positive results with the kids. At the same time, he has impacted the lives of their families, the Center staff and the dozens of volunteers who work to help make the Center a success. John has touched the lives of many and proven that the vision of one can be mighty enough to yield change.

John, who grew up in Williamsburg, VA, has been working with community leaders in Newport News and Roanoke to establish similar music centers for youth in those cities.