Meet Kiera, an inspiring student with the incredible dream of creating charity concerts.
Kiera Sumner is extremely passionate about volunteering in the community, and has been recognized for her dedication. She has spoken at events such as TEDx Auckland and The Pheonix Summit. Kiera is particularly impassioned about her involvement with StarJam, a charity which runs musical workshops and events for young New Zealanders with disabilities.
StarJam helps to inspire, support and enlighten the youth, encouraging self-expression and enjoyment through music.
The teenager is heavily influenced by her mother who sustained her selfless and generous attitude while battling cancer. During this difficult time, she continued to inspire Kiera with her kindness and generosity.
One day Kiera’s mother shared her observations of the poor psychological state of children going through regular medical treatments. Numerous studies assessing the mental condition of patients have found that most children receiving chemotherapy have a significantly low level of self-esteem and high level of stress. This observation sparked Kiera’s desire to help raise their spirits, and soon her passion for charity concerts was ignited.
Music is a universal language which knows no age or background. All kinds of people can relate to it and feel an overwhelming sense of connection. Music is capable of altering our psychological state. It can thus be used to comfort people undergoing various hardships in life, helping them feel a sense of belonging and support which they might not find elsewhere. Music allows you to escape your current mindset, which can be particularly helpful when life gets too difficult to emotionally process and brings light and positivity to people. Studies have also shown that this can also be especially helpful among children with disabilities. Music therapy has been shown to improve physical symptoms and mental health of patients, it can help process emotions and reduce stress. It can minimize anxiety,
discomfort and tension. Studies have shown that music therapy benefits psychological condition and social skills in up to 80% of children with disabilities.
“Music was something that helped us through our journey, it takes you to different places and the worries seem to leave, music is inclusive of everyone, and it has a way to bring people together, to smile, and enjoy life,” says Kiera.
Kiera felt this particular effect of music in her personal experiences, and was inspired to help uplift others in need. The instability the world has faced this year highlighted the significance of mental health, and how important a sense of community is in trying times. This pandemic has brought up numerous challenges to the event industry as live concerts were restricted and the size of group gatherings were limited. Kiera aspires to bring love, happiness and positivity to lives of others around her, and ultimately dreams of creating charity concerts all over New Zealand to benefit the lives of others in need. She envisions the concerts to be big and inclusive, allowing everyone to come together and enjoy themselves. Her mindset is truly inspiring. She strongly believes hard work and perseverance will allow her to achieve these dreams.
As the inspirational teenager says, “No matter who you are, where you have come from or your history, you can achieve anything.”