Santa Barbara, CA — The Music Academy is honored to receive the coveted Kids Helping Kids Investment in People Award this Friday, January 12 and Saturday, January 13 at the 10th Anniversary Kids Helping Kids Concert held at the Granada Theatre.

The Kids Helping Kids Investment in People Award is given each year to an individual or group who have exemplified Kids Helping Kids’ mantra that "investing in others pays dividends" and who have come alongside the students of Kids Helping Kids in their efforts to make a difference in our local community and beyond.

Kids Helping Kids Founder Jamie DeVries shared, “What the Music Academy does for Kids Helping Kids and our community is extraordinary. In addition to providing unparalleled access to classical music in our community, they have shared with us the leadership skills that have made their organization a national and international treasure.”

Music Academy President and CEO Scott Reed, who has served as a Kids Helping Kids Board Member for the past eight years, said, “The Music Academy is continually inspired by the work accomplished through Kids Helping Kids. It is amazing what a group of 17 year-olds who embrace philanthropy and helping others can accomplish on behalf of Santa Barbara and beyond.”

The Music Academy provides support and training to the Kids Helping Kids members each year as they prepare for their annual fundraising campaign. In addition to President Scott Reed, Chief Advancement Officer Jonathan Bishop has offered his fundraising expertise for the past eight years, and Vice President of Marketing and Communications Ana Papakhian has provided her Public Relations and Marketing knowledge for the past four years. The Kids Helping Kids members come to the Music Academy campus for mentorship in both development and marketing best practices, and the Academy provides complimentary use of the facilities for their annual Winter Ball.

Katelin Ridenour, the Music Academy’s Special Events Manager, is a graduate of the Kids Helping Kids program.

About Kids Helping Kids

Kids Helping Kids (KHK) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based out of Santa Barbara and entirely student-run by the San Marcos High School AP Economics class, headed by Economics teacher Jamie DeVries. Kids Helping Kids originally began with a student-run penny drive in 2002 and has evolved into an annual signature gala event at the Santa Barbara multi-million dollar Granada Theater. Over the course of eleven years, students have volunteered over 10,000 hours of work, resulting in a gross of $700,000 being raised for charitable purposes.

Past Kids Helping Kids Investment in People Award recipients include:

  • Mark Chipello: Awarded for his continued commitment to providing Kids Helping Kids with outstanding musical talent.
  • Nick Carney: The KHK Alumnus was awarded in2016 for his noteworthy contributions as a student member. Following his graduation from San Marcos High School and the KHK program, he went on to play a prominent role in the Special Olympics.
  • Colette Lopez: Awarded for her dedication to supporting and mentoring the Kids Helping Kids students as they learned to produce world-class events.

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About the Music Academy of the West

The Music Academy of the West is among the nation’s preeminent summer schools and festivals for gifted, young, classically trained musicians. At its ocean-side campus in Santa Barbara, the Academy provides these musicians with the opportunity for advanced study and performance under the guidance of internationally renowned faculty artists, guest conductors, and soloists. Admission to the Academy is strictly merit based, and fellows receive full scholarships (tuition, room, and board). The Academy’s distinguished teaching artists roster has included famed soprano Lotte Lehmann, composers Darius Milhaud and Arnold Schoenberg, cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, pianist Jeremy Denk, and current Voice Program Director Marilyn Horne. Academy alumni are members of major symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras, ensembles, opera companies, and university and conservatory faculties throughout the world. Many enjoy careers as prominent solo artists. In 2014 the Music Academy entered into a four-year partnership with the New York Philharmonic, resulting in unprecedented training and performance opportunities for Academy fellows, and Summer Festival residencies for Philharmonic musicians.

The Music Academy of the West cultivates discerning, appreciative, and adventurous audiences, presenting more than 200 public events annually, many of them free of charge. These include performances by faculty, guest artists, and fellows; masterclasses; orchestra and chamber music concerts; and a fully staged opera. The 2018 Summer School and Festival will take place June 18-August 12 at the Academy’s scenic Miraflores campus and in venues throughout Santa Barbara. For more information, visit





Kate Oberjat

Director of Marketing & Communications

Music Academy of the West


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