As an adult, one day I asked myself when in life was I happiest. The answer always connected to this instrument. I met my best friends, my husband, playing this instrument. What set me apart from many individuals I knew, made me unique? This instrument. Where did my leadership abilities form and develop, playing in a Steelband. What provided me the opportunity to travel to unique settings, locations and meet unique ppl? The instrument gave me the ability to express myself. As the youngest person in a frontline of all males outside of myself, respect was earned through playing ability. Show me you are the best, don't tell me. That requires me to put in extra work on my own to improve my skills. The steelband environment was my early training ground to hard work and setting myself apart from the rest. We performed for free on Saturdays for the community. These free concerts provide a release to many people in the hustle of the NYC streets which is always welcomed.Music unifies the young and old, the rich and poor. It allows ppl to stand in one place but travel all over the world through song connections. At those free concerts, I met district representatives, councilmen, store owners, organization leaders, church leaders, etc. I was exposed to all walks of life and gained comfort amongst them. With all that I've been afforded through this steelpan journey, I find it not only right but necessary to pass the learning opportunities on to others.