\"I modeled the program after Mr. Donald Richardson, my band director at Andrew J. Bell Junior High School. I think he saved my life. I was in school because of music, and you had to keep a certain grade level to stay in the band.\"
After Hurricane Katrina washed away the middle-school band programs, and many of the playgrounds were turned into FEMA trailer villages, Derrick knew he needed to do something to help the kids in his broken city the way his favorite teacher had helped him. He calls the program he directs \"the no-excuse plan\" :
\"We feed the kids, we have tutors for them, we have buses to pick them up, and we supply their instruments. So they have no excuse for not coming.\"
And the children of New Orleans are clamoring for something positive to do. Derrick has over 350 kids on a waiting list.
Derrick\'s election would mean a $100,000 grant and would help him continue to help make a real difference in many kids\' lives.
You can vote as many times as you like at this location.
On Thanksgiving, November 26 at 9 PM ET, CNN will broadcast an allstar tribute to all 2009\'s CNN heroes.
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