Kaylee’s Story

“Music has helped me become a champion…it has helped me overcome so many obstacles. It is my confidence.”

– Kaylee, On Point graduate

Keith Willa, Director of Plummer Youth Promise’s On Point, remembers the day Kaylee arrived at the program.

“She was hoodie up, eyes down, wringing her hands and saying little. As with all kids, I wondered how best to reach her,” recalls Keith. “I had no idea music would be the key.”

Three years prior, Kaylee was just 16, uncertain of herself and anxious to fit in with others. She made some bad decisions that landed her in Juvenile Court. Fortunately, she lives in Salem, home of On Point.

Kaylee started in the music program, writing and singing her own songs under the guidance of instructor Callie Lipton. One of her proudest moments was on stage in downtown Salem at the height of tourist season.

“I performed my own set – four songs back to back, not stopping. My family was there, too,” she says. “It was really cool.”

Even after completing her court-ordered time at On Point, Kaylee continues to return to make music, talk with friends and encourage others. Keith says the transformation has been remarkable.

“She’s always smiling and laughing. Now, we can’t keep her quiet,” he says, adding that her laughter and compassion is contagious. “She lights up the room. She has become a role model for kids who are struggling.”