7Everyday Hero Zach Harris provides the gift of music to students in Haiti

Colorado musician starts Haiti Youth Orchestra

DENVER -- You have heard the saying, "It takes a village." Well, sometimes all it takes is one good idea to help change lives. 
 
7Everyday Hero Zach Harris is helping people with the gift of music. 
 
Harris just graduated high school from Colorado Academy, and is heading to college in the fall. He is an accomplished musician. 
 
"I study piano, double base, and electric base," Harris said. 
 
Harris started the Haiti Youth Orchestra six years ago. 
 
"There are almost 80 kids in the orchestra, but close to 150 kids in the music program in the school," Harris said. 
 
Harris often travels to Haiti to help with a non-profit relief effort his parent's started called The Road to Hope. 
 
"You can't go to Haiti and return to the United States without wanting to do something," Harris said. 
 
At first, he wanted to build the kids a soccer field. Then, he decided to lean on his musical expertise. 
 
"I started this orchestra, went into a room of 15 to 20 kids and taught them: 'Who knows what a violin is? What's a cello?,'" Harris said. 
 
Harris' efforts soon blossomed, providing music classes, instruments and teacher salaries in Haiti. 
 
"We are educating about 400 students right now, from four and five years old all the way up to 16 and 17 years old," said The Road to Hope board member Jesse Schumacher. 
 
Today, there are two youth orchestras. 
 
It has taken off like none of us ever expected. It's probably the thing that the Road to Hope is most proud of at this point," Schumacher said. 
 
"It is a whole lot more gratifying to teach 80 kids in an orchestra than to study at my room at home playing piano," Harris explained. 
 
To learn more about the Haiti Youth Orchestra and the Road to Hope go to www.theroadtohope.org.
 
Mitch Jelniker anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30 to 7 a.m. He also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on 7NEWS. Follow Mitch on Facebook and Twitter. Nominate a 7Everyday Hero here.
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