Guitars Over Guns announces that its CEO and Co-Founder, Chad Bernstein, has been named a CNN Hero in recognition of his efforts to help at-risk youth through mentoring and music education. CNN profiled Dr. Bernstein and his work with Guitars Over Guns (GOGO) in a segment which was broadcast on April 2, 2015 and can be viewed at http://bit.ly/GOGOCNNHero.

“I am extremely humbled to be recognized in this way by CNN Heroes. I share this accolade with all of the inspirational mentors, team members and students involved with Guitars Over Guns,” said Dr. Bernstein. “I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve collectively accomplished, or more appreciative of our team. If not for them, we would not be able to make such a positive difference in so many lives through the transformative power of music.”

CNN Heroes, now in its ninth year, is a year-long initiative by the news organization to honor everyday people for their selfless, creative efforts to help others. One CNN Hero is profiled every week on CNN and CNN.com. Since 2007, more than 200 CNN Heroes in over 80 countries have been profiled. The CNN Heroes website (http://www.cnnheroes.com) receives thousands of nominations each year from viewers around the world.

Dr. Bernstein, a professional musician with the Miami-based musical group Suenalo, co-founded Guitars Over Guns in 2008 with his father, Bob Bernstein, a successful financial professional in Chicago, to formalize the mentoring he and his band members were providing to youth in their local community. GOGO pairs at-risk youth with professional musicians who provide the opportunity to learn and perform music – all of the students’ choosing – as well as teach the skills they need to fend off gang recruitment, violence and drug use and become leaders in and out of school.

GOGO’s Community Impact:

  • GOGO has mentored more than 240 students since its launch in 2008.
  • In the last two years alone, the program has worked with 126 students, of whom ◦92 percent saw an increase in their grade point averages
    • 97 percent improved their school attendance.
    • 99 percent of those suspended from school prior to their participation avoided further suspension after joining.
  • GOGO seeks to replicate these results in other cities across the country — In October 2014, the program kicked off its “Second City” partnership with the UCAN Academy on the West Side of  Chicago, the oldest—and among the most highly regarded—youth trauma centers and therapeutic day schools in the Midwest.

The CNN Heroes profile of Dr. Bernstein includes an interview with Brian Thoby, a GOGO alumnus from Miami who now serves as a mentor in the program. “We are very proud of Brian and the many others who have soared to new heights in GOGO,” said Dr. Bernstein. “We look forward to guiding more students to success as our organization continues to grow.”

About CNN Worldwide
CNN Worldwide is a portfolio of two dozen news and information services across cable, satellite, radio, wireless devices and the Internet in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Domestically, CNN reaches more individuals on television, the web and mobile devices than any other cable TV news organization in the United States; internationally, CNN is the most widely distributed news channel reaching more than 271 million households abroad; and CNN Digital is a top network for online news, mobile news and social media. Additionally, CNN Newsource is the world’s most extensively utilized news service partnering with hundreds of local and international news organizations around the world. CNN is division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company. For more information, visit http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/cnn-fact-sheet/.

About Guitars Over Guns
Guitars Over Guns (GOGO) is a Florida-based non-profit organization that was launched in 2008 by professional musician, Dr. Chad Bernstein, and his father, Bob Bernstein, a Chicago investment professional, to formalize the ad-hoc mentoring he and other members of the Miami band Suenalo were providing to local at-risk middle-schoolers. GOGO’s mission is to help young people living in poor and dangerous environments to discover the life-changing power of music through a structured program of music instruction and strong mentoring relationships with professional musicians. GOGO is a partner of Communities In Schools, the largest dropout-prevention organization in the country, and the University of Miami’s Frost MusicReach Program. The organization’s copyrighted curriculum is based on the findings presented in Dr. Bernstein’s doctoral dissertation, The Effectiveness of Music Mentoring for At-Risk Youth: Implementation and Assessment of the GOGO Program.

For more information, visit www.guitarsoverguns.org and follow Guitars Over Guns on Twitter (http://twitter.com/guitarsoverguns).

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