Music and Mentorship: How an Austin Org Is Helping Foster Kids Survive the System

From NationSwell / April 2014

A former Texas prosecutor saw firsthand how many foster kids got lost in a system that lacked the resources to help them. So she decided to reach out to them herself, one child at a time.

Working as a prosecutor in the juvenile justice system can be a daily lesson in despair, so when Karyn Scott left her job as a felony prosecutor in Austin, Texas, in 2000 she wanted to find some way to work with troubled youth, especially children in foster care. She had grown discouraged watching a parade of foster kids get shuffled through a burdened system, failing to receive the added help many needed to overcome upheaval, neglect and sometimes abuse.

The courts just don’t have the resources to keep up. There are some 400,000 kids in foster care in the United States and about 30,000 in Texas, according to federal and state agencies. About 59 percent eventually are reunited with a parent, legal caretaker or a family member, and only 22 percent are legally adopted, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The rest are left under court supervision or transferred to a variety of agencies, including, unfortunately for a few, juvenile correctional facilities. Some 10 percent are emancipated, given adult status, by the courts and 1 percent run away. During their time in foster care, most children live in family homes, while a small minority are placed in group homes. Many kids bounce in and out of the system.


Program connects foster kids to music, life lessons

From the American Statesman | September 2012

For Josh Moore, “Music is not so much expression of life as it is and life as it should be. It’s life as you want it to be.”


Kids in a New Groove on KXAN

Music for the Soul: Michael Franti spearheads KING fundraiser Thursday

From | September 2012

To Michael Franti, the topic of children in foster care is a personal one. Consquently, when he was approached by Karyn Scott to play for Kids In a New Groove Thursday at the Long Center, the only answer was “yes.” KING provides private one-on-one music mentorship to kids in the Texas foster care system.


Michael Franti @ KUT 9/20/2012

From | September 2012

Michael Franti isn’t easy to pin down, musically. He and his band, Michael Franti & Spearhead, play an interesting blend of hip-hop, funk, reggae, jazz, folk and rock. However, he’s a lot easier to pin down when it comes to musical mood. His latest album, The Sound of Sunshine, sounds exactly how you would expect sunshine to. It’s bright, it’s happy, and it wraps you up in its positivity and optimistic energy. Michael Franti & Spearhead have been going strong as a band since 1994, touring across the country and recording together. Michael Franti & Spearhead will be in Austin on Thursday, playing a show at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. They stopped by KUT to play live in Studio 1A. Check it out below!


Michael Franti & Spearhead bring “Sunshine” to Austin – Music for the Soul Event will Benefit Foster Youth

From PRweb | July 2012 | Also seen in Houston Chronicle and Yahoo News.

Kids in a New Groove, the pioneering Austin charity that seeks to change the lives of foster youth through music mentorship, announced today that Michael Franti & Spearhead will headline their annual Music for the Soul fundraising event on September 20, 2012 at the Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin. The event will feature general admission concert tickets, in addition to limited VIP tickets that include a pre-party, dinner at the Long Center with renowned DJ Chicken George, cocktails throughout the night and premium concert seating.


Nonprofit keeps foster children in tune with music lessons

From Community Impact Newspaper | June 2012

Karyn Scott spent years as a prosecutor watching foster youth going through the legal system. Scott watched as they changed homes, schools and friends, which led her to start Kids In A New Groove, located at 2215 Westlake Drive in the Lake Austin Marina Building, to provide something stable for the children.


Gala Supports Music Program for Foster Kids

From the Westlake Picayune | March 2012

Initiated by Westbanker, event co-chair, executive director and founder Karyn Scott, a recent dinner party concert at One World Theatre drew more than 280 supporters of K.I.N.G., aka Kids in a New Groove.


It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over: The Music that moved her

From | January 2012

It was a beautiful summer night, and as Karyn Scott tucked her two little girls into bed, she could hear the music playing just below their windows, lullabying them to sleep. Karyn had lent her backyard to a friend for a fundraiser and fully expected a local church group to be providing the entertainment– but when she heard a song that took her breath away, she began to wonder just who was behind the mic.