Wilk Presents $5,000 Barona Education Grant to Help Fund Palmdale Academy Charter’s Mariachi Program

Sen. Scott Wilk presents a symbolic $5,000 check to Palmdale Academy Charter School’s Mariachi Band

Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) was pleased to present a $5,000 grant from the Barona Band of Mission Indians to Palmdale Academy Charter School to help fund the school’s growing mariachi band program.

“Access to music does wonders for students, helping them stay in school, achieve higher grades, and gives them confidence and skills that will carry them far through life,” said Senator Wilk. “As a strong advocate of the arts in our schools, I am thrilled to see the work being done at Palmdale Academy Charter to excite students and bring the community together through musical performance. This grant will go a long way in maintaining and expanding this wonderful program, and I am grateful once again to the Barona Band of Mission Indians for providing this award. Congratulations!”

Each year the Barona Band of Mission Indians generously awards an education grant to one school in each legislative district in California. Wilk recommended Palmdale Academy Charter School for the grant because of its dedication to fostering music and arts with its one-of-a-kind mariachi program.

The grant will be used to help fund new instruments and band clothing, as well as fund repairs to existing band equipment.

Palmdale Academy Charter School, and the mariachi program, are only three years old, but it quickly became so popular that there is a wait list for students to join each year. The creation of the mariachi program is a lifelong dream realized for Ms. Stacy Lopez, the band’s director and founder.

Many studies point to the benefits of music programs in school, which can help reduce anxiety, depression, emotional alienation, truancy and aggression. Students who learn music are less likely to drop out and frequently exhibit increased self-esteem, empathy, confidence and are more inclined to pursue a professional career.

“With this contribution, we can continue to provide our students with a vibrant and enriching musical experience, fostering their passion for mariachi,” said Palmdale Academy Charter Principal Dr. Kathya Arriaran-Buono. “This donation is not just a financial contribution, but a commitment to the cultural enrichment and education of our students. We are dedicated to ensuring that every dollar is used wisely and contributes to the overall success and growth of the mariachi program.” 

Click HERE to learn more about Palmdale Academy Charter’s Mariachi Band.