David’s Harp Foundation receives more than $60,000 from Cox Communications to help at-risk, homeless youth connect to music education and multimedia production

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Donation will help create a distance learning hub as COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact local education and need for physically distanced spaces for youth

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Cox Communications awards a grant totaling more than $60,000 to David’s Harp Foundation, a San Diego nonprofit organization that uses music education, sound engineering and multimedia production to help teens and young adults achieve academic success. The grant will help David’s Harp Foundation create a distance learning hub at its facilities in downtown San Diego’s East Village so that at-risk and homeless students can have access to high-speed internet, academic accountability, and arts programs while social distancing during the 2020-2021 school year.

Students participate in songwriting, create podcasts and learn new skills in digital media and sound engineering that can be used in the workforce.

“With schools having to physically close their classrooms due to COVID-19, the pandemic has had an even greater impact on students affected by homelessness, foster care and incarceration,” said Brandon Steppe, who founded David’s Harp Foundation in 2007 after opening his garage studio to neighborhood youth who needed mentoring and guidance. “We noticed that our students were not participating regularly in distance learning curriculum. The grant from Cox will help us serve the 250 students who come to us not only for music education and multimedia production, but because they know that our studio is a safe space where people care about their social and emotional well being.”

(L-R) Fourth District Councilmember – Monica Montgomery, David’s Harp Founder – Brandon Steppe, and Vice President of Public Affairs for Cox – Chanelle Hawken

“David’s Harp Foundation does an incredible job giving students the opportunity to learn new skills for the workplace, but more importantly, providing critical mentoring and support as they navigate through challenges in their young lives that no one should have to face,” said Chanelle Hawken, Vice President of Public Affairs for Cox Communications. “Cox has a long history of supporting education in San Diego and so we are proud to support David’s Harp Foundation with a grant allowing it to continue impacting local youth in spite of the challenges COVID-19 has placed on our educational community.”

When the next school year resumes, the socially distant hub will be open three days a week inside their 4,500-square-foot space and available to students who have completed their school work. David’s Harp personnel who serve as mentors ensure the students are holding themselves academically accountable. “Community organizations like David’s Harp Foundation are critical for children and families right now who may not have access to traditional academic resources at school or from home,” said San Diego City Councilmember Monica Montgomery. “Cox’s gift to David’s Harp Foundation will bridge the digital divide for many in our community and provide an outlet to pursue their creative passions.”

Many of the students who come to David’s Harp Foundation through the San Diego County Office of Education and 20+ referring partners are wards of the court, in detention or referred to the program by Social Services.

Using the power of media creation as the platform to build mentoring relationships with students that lead to positive outcomes beyond the studio, David’s Harp Foundation inspires, educates and empowers youth to achieve academic success through music education, sound engineering and multimedia production. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, David’s Harp Foundation was founded in 2007 by Brandon Steppe when he opened his private converted garage studio to neighborhood youth who were lacking support and motivation personally and academically.

Cox Communications is committed to creating meaningful moments of human connection through broadband applications and services. The largest private telecom company in America, we proudly serve six million homes and businesses across 18 states. We’re dedicated to empowering others to build a better future and celebrate diverse products, people, suppliers, communities and the characteristics that makes each one unique. Cox Communications is the largest division of Cox Enterprises, a family-owned business founded in 1898 by Governor James M. Cox.

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