United Sound Receives Grant to Foster Social Change Through Music

United Sound, a Mesa nonprofit that provides students with disabilities with meaningful music education and musical experiences, was recently awarded a $15,000 grant from Arizona Financial Credit Union. This is the largest grant to date awarded through its Local Causes Visa® debit card give-back program.

This grant will fortify United Sound’s peer mentorship program and ensure that partner schools can provide meaningful and authentic music education and performance opportunities for all students, regardless of ability.

The nonprofit partners with music programs on school campuses around the country, providing peer mentoring programs that pair students with and without disabilities in the band and orchestra setting. Locally, United Sound has peer mentoring programs at Betty Fairfax High School, Campo Verde High School, Cienega High School, Desert Mountain High School, Empire High School, Greenfield Junior High School, Highland High School, Maryvale High School, Northern Arizona University, Osborn Middle School, and South Valley Junior High School.

“I created United Sound after realizing that, as a band director, I was not well-equipped to serve students with disabilities and, after searching for help, I realized it did not exist,” said Julie Duty, United Sound founder and executive director. “This grant will enable us to provide inclusive music education opportunities to even more students.”

Since its launch in August 2020, Arizona Financial’s Local Causes Visa® debit card program has distributed nearly $300,000 in grants to 80 nonprofits. Unique to the program, nonprofit recipients must have an operating budget under $2 million to qualify and meet other criteria set forth by Arizona Financial.

“It was such a gift to award United Sound with our largest grant to date through our Local Causes Visa® debit card give-back program. We know it will help them grow and sustain their music programs in support of children with disabilities,” said Amy Hysell, president and CEO of Arizona Financial Credit Union.

For more behind this Frontdoor, visit unitedsound.org.

About Karen Werner

Karen Werner is the editor of Frontdoors Media. She is a writer, editor and media consultant. She has interned at The New Yorker, worked at Parents Magazine, edited five books and founded several local magazines. Her work has appeared in Sunset, Mental Floss and the Saturday Evening Post.
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