Liberty Foundation Awards $5,000 to United Jazz Foundation for Education Program

United Jazz Foundation students (Submitted photo)

With school coming back in session, United Jazz Foundation is kicking off its VI Youth Ensemble music education program for underserved teens in St. Thomas thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Liberty Foundation.

“The funding of the Liberty Foundation will enable United Jazz Foundation to continue to support the young people of the U.S. Virgin Islands and create a safe environment that will help children blossom and become more confident as they focus on their learning process and on achieving their dreams,” said Nicole Parson, vice president and CEO of United Jazz Foundation. “With music as a tool, United Jazz Foundation identifies, educates and mentors students to assist them in reaching their potential.”

United Jazz Foundation’s VI Youth Ensemble is a performance-based afterschool initiative for junior high and high school students with a high level of musical talent. Through music, program participants learn to enhance their life skills and build their social intellect, while earning music writing and notation skills. Students also learn to develop self-determination, how to work in a professional recording environment, and to cultivate the ability to express their personal story through their craft in a public space. The program will serve between 50 and 75 students.

(L to R): Catherine Kling, commercial director, Liberty VI; Giovanna Ramírez de Arellano, senior director of communications and corporate responsibility, Liberty; Bala Balakrishnan, former general manager, Liberty VI; Nicole Parson, vice president and founder, United Jazz Foundation; Dion Parson, president and founder, United Jazz Foundation, and Yadira Valdivia, executive director, Liberty Foundation) (Submitted photo)

“There are many students with a high level of musical talent that never get to reach their full potential because they don’t have access to opportunities that can help them fulfill their goals. At Liberty Foundation, we believe in empowering organizations like United Jazz Foundation so they can help music students in St. Thomas become full-fledged musicians and develop their careers in that field,” said Catherine Kling, commercial director at Liberty VI.

Founded in 2013, United Jazz Foundation is a non-profit organization that seeks to elevate the aspirations and economic conditions of underserved youth in the USVI through music literacy, performance and mentorship. Located on St. Thomas, the organization creates and runs music education programs that not only give students basic music performance skills but also incorporate the territory’s cultural heritage. Students of all ages learn in a safe, progressive and encouraging atmosphere.

Liberty Foundation has awarded over $277,500 in grants since 2020 to help fund a variety of community initiatives that support childcare, education and environmental protection in the USVI.

About the Liberty Foundation:

The Liberty Foundation is a nonprofit organization registered in Puerto Rico and the United States that serves as Liberty Puerto Rico’s corporate social responsibility arm. Established in July 2017, the Foundation supports non-profit organizations that offer social, educational, cultural, and environmental services throughout Puerto Rico. The Liberty Foundation also establishes alliances with non-profit entities to sponsor and participate in activities and initiatives to raise funds, awareness, and encourage employees to do volunteer work to further advance their causes. For more information on the Liberty Foundation, please visit

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