We help youth find their voices
through arts mentoring and education.

Total Youth Served

Guitar Classes for Youth-in Need

Guitar Classes for Youth-in Need

Accomplished musician Charles Rojas recently volunteered to teach a guitar workshop at A Community of Friends, which houses low-income and homeless residents with the goal of healing those with mental and physical illnesses.

As is typical, one teenager started guitar lessons as a complete beginner. Charles patiently taught her many aspects of the guitar, from the anatomy of the instrument, how to hold it, tuning the strings, finger movement, playing notes and chords, tempo, and reading music. By the end of the workshop, she could already play not one, but two songs: Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple and Buddy Holly by Weezer. Reflecting back, the girl exclaimed, “My favorite part is I got to learn a song!

I wasn’t sure about learning guitar at first, but when I started the lessons, things became understandable and easy for me. I got one-on-one classes and I learned everything really quickly because of that. I really want to continue learning guitar because of this experience. I’m glad I decided to go through with the guitar lessons. Even though I had only a few classes, I feel like I learned a lot.”

Daniel Madrid, an administrator at A Community of Friends, remarked, “Charles created an open space of encouragement, flexibility, and understanding.”

Since 2013, Charles has enjoyed teaching guitar to the kids we serve. “Create Now is a fantastic organization for connecting youth with educational opportunities to explore and learn the arts. I’m extremely grateful for the chance to share musical knowledge with young creatives, and provide some guidance for their artistic pursuits.”

We greatly appreciate Charles Rojas, and ALL of our fantastic volunteers! By contributing your time to Create Now in any discipline from writing, drawing, music – all the arts – you can make a difference in the lives of vulnerable youth. Click HERE for more information on how to get started!

Founded in 1996, Create Now serves children from infancy to 24 through arts programs in many disciplines.

We focus our efforts on kids who have been abused, neglected, orphaned, made homeless, incarcerated or experiencing other severe challenges – the “forgotten children.”

We have reached more than 42,000 of the most vulnerable youth in Southern California over the last 21 years.

Arts Programs

Create Now’s programming focuses on eight main areas


About Create Now

Writing Program for Children at Vaughn

Video produced by foster youth

Ready to Learn at Urban Compass

Highlighted Programs

What People Say

“Two of my teenage girls on probation fell in love with dance after Create Now gave us tickets to see the Los Angeles Ballet. They took classes and then taught ballet to some little girls in our housing projects, who now all want to be ballerinas based on what the older girls do.”
Kimberly McKinney,
Probation Officer, Watts Housing Projects
“Some of our kids deal with high anxiety and different forms of abuse at home. This acting workshop is bringing out a lot of their talents that usually lie dormant. It’s fun and lighthearted and lets them show off their talents like singing, dancing and acting.”
Lionel Ruff,
Youth Counselor, Vista Del Mar
“Partnering with Create Now provides truly individualized and engaging arts instruction to our students. We’ve noticed a remarkable change in them, including an increase in confidence and an awakening of the possibilities outside of the realm of the classroom.”
Mallory Barnes,
Regional Director of Strategic Partnerships, Aspire Charter Schools
“This class is the highlight of the year! I’ve never been so confident in myself, or so committed to something in my life, not even video games.”
student at Vaughan Middle School
I have been leading a Journalism Workshop for teenage girls at Ventura Youth Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison, for almost three years now. To say it has changed my life is an understatement. I love the mentoring work I do so much that I want to — need to — find a way to do it full-time. It’s amazing what you get when you give.
- Holly Richmond
Former Writer/Editor, / “Seventeen,” now in Masters program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University in Santa Barbara
Here at the shelter, we can fill the gaps in our youths’ basic needs, but the more important gaps that help them find themselves as individuals and grow as young adults come from the experiences and mentorship provided by selfless and enthusiastic organizations like Create Now and its vibrant team of dedicated individuals.
-Federico Bustamente
Outreach and Activities Coordinator, Casa Libre Youth Shelter
I happened to run into the mother of Daniel, one of the boys that I’m working with at Camp David Gonzalez. She told me that Daniel talked about me and our class every week with great enthusiasm. She was absolutely thrilled that he was asking for books and wanted to read more.
- Glenda Shaw
Writer/Producer, / "Leeza Gibbons" and "Montel"

Honors & Awards

Create Now is proud to be recognized by these distinguished organizations.

association of corporate counsel SOCAL
British Council
Volunteer Service Organization