After graduating from high school, Lillian attended Furman University in Greenville, SC, where she studied French and Poverty Studies. After graduating from Furman in 2014, Lillian began serving as a Young Adult Volunteer in Nashville, TN, where she works for a non-profit that aids those who live in poverty, specifically in East Nashville. Lillian is currently working with a low-income high school who partners with the non-profit in order to increase graduation rates and allow for an educational and academic environment outside of regular academic hours. Specifically Lillian works with high school seniors and helps them apply to colleges and she tutors 9th-12th grad students and leads a music recording studio at an after school program.
Lillian's TYO Experience
"I was a member of TYO for 10 years. When I started, I played violin, but then switched to viola in high school. I started in Symphonic Strings and eventually worked my way up to the Symphony Orchestra. TYO allowed me to play music I enjoyed, stretch myself musically, and further my love for music.
While I am not pursuing a career in music, the TYO made a huge impact on my life in other ways. Being able to work with others who love and enjoy music as much as I do enhanced my TYO experience. During college, I played in the orchestra at my university. Without my experiences in TYO, I would not have had the opportunity to go to the school I went to or to play in the orchestra at that school. TYO prepared me to be able to play in a college level orchestra and allowed me to receive a music scholarship for my university.
Music has always been a part of my life and TYO added to the many musical experiences throughout my life. I remember Dr. Jiménez (along with many of my other teachers and mentors in TYO) saying that the goal was not necessarily to become a professional musician, but to have a lifelong love of music. TYO taught me to love music and how to carry that love of music into other parts of my life. Music teaches you how to communicate with others and how to build community among others. The importance of music in my life started during my time in TYO and music has continued to impact my life ever since then."
- Lillian Cleveland