MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Music has the power to bring communities together, and help change a young person’s future. That is exactly what is happening for some Miami-Dade students who are learning more about themselves thanks to the A Capella Ensemble Guitars over Guns.

The group leader and mentor is Michelle Forman, who was named a “2019 Champion for Children” by The Children’s Trust.

She founded the Guitars over Guns A Capella Ensemble in January thanks to a grant from The Children’s Trust.

“It’s not your typical a Capella group. There’s a lot of fun involved in that and a lot of spontaneity in that,” explains Forman.

Group members have fun while they gain confidence in their voices and themselves.

The A Capella Ensemble Guitars over Guns (CBS4)

Kiana Jefferson is a senior at Miami Northwestern High School.

“I used to have terrible stage fright terrible I used to never go on the field trips and then like two years ago, one of my first field trips when I was on stage it was not as bad as I thought,” recalls Jefferson.

The group sang the National Anthem before the Miami Marathon and are planning more performances.

Victoria Beauville attends Alonzo and Tracy Mourning High School and admits she took a while to warm up to her new mentor.

“My first impression of her was that she’s mean, but once I got to actually know her its good,” says Beauville. “Ms. Michelle she’s a very caring person she’s like a spiritual persona and she cares about everyone like with their problems and she’s a great listener,” describes Jefferson.

The A Capella Ensemble Guitars over Guns (CBS4)

Forman sees changes in her singers, and some have big dreams.

“I want to do this for the rest of my life I really, really love to sing I have an original song that will be out soon,” says Beauville.

“I used to bottle up so much when I was younger I used to hold so much grudges, but now it has helped me improve and realize you don’t have to be mean, you just have to trust a little,” says Jefferson.

“90 percent of our kids improve in every area of development and that is not an exaggeration on numbers that’s a fact which is something to be proud of and they always walk away feeling proud of themselves,” says Forman.

If you are a mentor and would like to share your story with us, please email us at mentoringmatters@cbs.com.

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Eliott Rodriguez

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