SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — A teenaged brother and sister from San Francisco are using their musical talents to serve others.
With 19-year-old Neo Guerrero on the piano and his 17-year-old sister Cleo on the violin, the duet brings joy to their elderly audience and more.
“It’s a way for me to relax and escape. I can really get lost in the music,” said Cleo Guerrero.
Among Cleo and Neo’s volunteer service projects, they play the piano for the choir at Lakeside Presbyterian’s Sunday services even though it’s not their home church.
Neo says he and his sister also teach music.
“Music’s been limited in public schools in San Francisco for a long time, so we just wanted to give kids the opportunity to experience this joy of music,” he said.
They’ve volunteered since 2017 at Music Mission San Francisco, a Mission District nonprofit that puts together a free youth orchestra for dozens of students aged 7 to 15 years old.
Co-founder Margaret Gonzalez says the Guerreros have inspired her students.
“It’s wonderful to have them. They do it from their heart because they love it,” she said.
Cleo, a Lowell High School senior, plays the harp, piano and violin.
Neo, a Harvard University sophomore studying engineering, plays piano and viola.
The siblings were both scholarship students at the Conservatory of Music.
Gonzalez says the siblings are role models. “They have such a spark in them that is hard to find.”
Neo and Cleo also tutor in academics.
Cleo started a free program two years ago that’s now meeting over Zoom.
The pair assists underserved students in homework and gets them excited about learning.
Students like 11th grader Liane Zhong who improved several grades to earn an ‘A’ in Algebra 2.
“I’ve seen a big difference and a change ever since I went to a study program,” Zhong said. “It would motivate me to study more and do much better in class.”
“Seeing the people that I help grow, that’s been really rewarding for me. Makes me really proud of them,” said Cleo.
Cleo and Neo are learning their own lesson about giving:
“I think everyone can make a strong impact on other people,” Neo said.
So for their volunteer service in music and academics, this week’s Jefferson Award in the Bay Area goes to Neo and Cleo Guerrero.
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