‘War must never stop you from doing what you love’

A special gift for a Lincoln High CLC participant from war-torn Ukraine means beautiful music here in Lincoln.

Editors Note: Matthew Kohrell is the Family Literacy instructor at Civic Nebraska’s Lincoln High School Community Learning Center. He recently wrote about a special gift to one of the participants in the program.
“Ester is a 19-year-old woman who had to flee the war in Ukraine with her family. She was in a special school for music in Ukraine. Music is an essential part of her life – she plays violin and piano, and also sings.
“At a birthday party for her sister, I was informed that Ester plays the violin. Knowing the plight of refugees fleeing war, I asked if she was able to bring her violin with her. When I asked her that question, sadness came over her and she looked down.
Clark Potter is the Director of the Lincoln Youth Symphony and is a friend of mine. I shared Ester’s story with him and asked if he knew a way for her to have a violin. He shared with me that he had one he could loan her. On Oct. 19, Clark visited my Family Literacy class at Lincoln High to bring Ester the violin.
“When we told Ester the violin was for her, she was beaming, and she has been beaming ever since. She has been practicing her violin every day.
“That one action of receiving the violin broke through the oppressive feeling she had from fleeing the war. Hopefully, she will be able to play with the Lincoln Youth Symphony in the future. Clark has already talked with me about it. Music is back in Ester’s life.”
Matthew Kohrell
Learn more about our Youth Civic Leadership programs here

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