Guitars Not Guns: Program aims to help at-risk youth find alternative to violence

Guitars Not Guns program at Cassady Elementary School

COLUMBUS, Ohio (10TV) -- An organization is fighting for the future of Columbus youth one tune at a time.

Guitars Not Guns Ohio aims to build the confidence of central Ohio kids through music as a way to prevent violence.

The program is geared toward at-risk youth, providing guitars and lessons. Students who complete the program get to keep their guitars. It's part of a national effort. Guitars Not Guns has served about 4,000 kids across 12 states.

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On Monday, the group met at Cassady Elementary for their weekly class. Instructors taught a small group of kids how to play guitar.

"The hope is by building confidence, building skills, they are able to say, 'I have bigger things going on. I will keep on this straight-and-narrow path because I want to see this through. I might be that next rock star one day,'" said instructor Brian Cerney.

For the kids, it's been fun. They're learning to do something that many thought they could never do.

"I feel proud of myself," said student Ava Shojaian. "I didn't think I would come this far."

Guitars Not Guns Ohio is in need of adult volunteers. They said you don't have to be the best guitar player to participate.

"There's a huge demand for what we're doing," Cerney said. "If you care, we can find a spot for you."

If you would like to participate, click here.