Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Interview with Freedom4U Founder Greg Allen

Freedom4U Community Youth Concert in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.
As the founder of non-profit organization Freedom4U on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Dr. Greg Allen is a prominent community fund raiser, and advocate for local youth in the South Bay area of Los Angeles.

The Daily Fitchett: Dr. Allen, what is Freedom 4U?

Greg Allen: Freedom4U, in a nutshell, is an organization that offers youth positive activities and creative outlets as an alternative to drugs and other destructive activities.


Concert for Youth Sponsored by Freedom4U
The Daily Fitchett: What motivated you to do this kind of work?

Greg Allen: After spending many years as a drug and family therapist, I saw firsthand how the lack of fun and safe social outlets for young people could lead them onto destructive paths. I also saw a need for a better local support system that could connect our young people, help them to pursue their passions, and provide the tools to work through the many challenges of adolescence.

DF: How did the organization get its start?

GA: We began Freedom4U to meet a clear a need for young people in the South Bay and particularly here on the hill. While families may have resources in this area, our middle school and high school students struggle to find fun ways to socialize and connect with each other in healthy and safe environments.

Freedom4U Concert for Youth
Our schools are excellent. We are a community of doting and dedicated parents. Most of our children are enrolled in some combination of after school lessons, organized sports teams, and volunteer programs.

But when Friday night rolls around, most of our young people want to hang out with each other. And there is often not much productive for them to do. That was the beginning of our vision for "Freedom4U".

So to we started the organization in 2002. Since that time, we have served more than 2000 young people per year, creating a wide range of programs to fulfill Freedom4U’s guiding mission; ‘to coach young people to fulfill their potential’.

DF: What events do you offer?


GA: We have created a Friday night concert series that has become one of the most popular nights out for our high school students and given aspiring young musicians the opportunity to perform in front of their peers in a safe, local and drug-free environment. We have also put counselors in all of the local high schools to provide support for students in working through major life challenges, from family and social issues to substance abuse.

DF: We also noticed that you have regular youth jazz jam sessions.


GA: Right! We built a monthly Jazz jam session at Trump Golf Course for young people interested in jazz and other improvised music. For this program, we brought in the some of the best young professional and college musicians in Los Angeles to help instruct our young people and perform on stage alongside them.

Other effective programs consist of: creative arts, life skills workshops for middle school boys and girls, parenting education and support, the 5th annual film contest is coming up along with a photography contest, leadership and service opportunities.

DF: It sounds like the program has really grown.


GA: It has. In July, we hosted our second annual “Jazz Through the Generations” Festival here on the Hill. This event featured internationally-known jazz artists performing alongside the participants in our youth programs, highlighting the importance of mentorship in the arts. We had over 1000 people attend this annual event at beautiful Terranea Resort.

Watch Behind-the-Scenes Video of Jazz Through the Generations.
DF: I remember the event was huge. Paul Smith, David Benoit, and Barbara Morrisson shared the stage with the younger up and coming musicians. "Jazz Through The Generations" was very well attended and was a great concert as well. Speaking of which, when is the next one?

GA: July 17th, 2011! We'll keep you posted. The next event that we have coming up soon is our 4th annual fundraiser 'Evening with the Stars'.

We are just beginning to realize the full potential of Freedom4U to make a difference in the lives of our young people. Our Priorities are: Community: Investing in young people; Character: Supporting young people in their strengths and confidence; Creativity: Being a laboratory for new ideas to be created, developed and expressed.

Freedom4U can only fulfill this mission with the generous help of the community. Together we can make a real difference in this community, providing our young people with the community support that they need, a place to pursue their passions, and important tools and skills that they will carry with them forever.

The 3rd Annual Evening with the Stars Lineup:
Olympic Gold Medalist Ron Brown, Redskin Jeff Severson,
Dr. Jeff Miller, Olympic Gold Medalist Henry Tillman,
LA District Attorney Carmen Trutanich,
Bear?Bruin Tim Wrightman, Van Barbieri,
Producer/Composer Tom Harriman, 49'er Cedrik Hardman,
Redskin/Bruin Billy Kilmer, CEO Bill Harris, GA
DF: What are the details of 'Evening With The Stars', and who is invited?


GA: Here's the details, and as far as who is invited...everyone! Please come and support the youth on the hill. Here's the invite:

Come to the 4th Annual Evening with the Stars
Mix & mingle with sports and entertainment stars
While listening to live jazz music
Fabulous silent & live auction items
Exceptional Trump National dinner and wine included

with stars:
NFL Hall of Famer Deacon Jones
Super Bowl Quarterbacks Billy Kilmer & Vince Ferragamo
US Olympic Gold Medalist & NFL All-Pro Ron Brown
US Olympic Gold Medalist Henry Tillman
and other Stars

Join us in honoring TV anchor Ed Arnold with the
George H. Allen Lifetime Achievement Award

Jessie and Greg Allen at event.
Where & When:
Trump National Golf Club Grand Ballrom
One Ocean Trails Drive
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. 90275

Thursday, April 21, 2011
5:30 PM – 7:15 PM Silent Auction
7:15 PM - 9:00 PM Dinner, Music, Program & Live Auction

Business Casual Attire

Tickets: $100 if received by April 9th, $125 until April 18th

You may reserve your place online at:
www.freedomcommunity.com, call 310-897-5043
email: awakening02@hotmail.com or mail check to:
Freedom4U, 336 Tejon Place, PVE, CA. 90274

2 comments:

  1. Been to one Freedom4U show and the youngsters were amazizing! If you can help support this effort as these young people are worth our effort.

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  2. Wonderful blog & good post.Its really helpful for me, awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging!

    Neil Chandran

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