In the past two years, more than $17 billion have been cut from California’s education budget, according to the Association of California School Administrators. Countless hours have been invested in finding a solution that could alleviate budget woes. Though the situation looks bleak, there may be a silver lining for schools.
OMG Global LLC, a new and upcoming music download website based in Palos Verdes will launch in September. Rhonda Niden, the founder of this website, has creatively combined two major aspects of her life into one fundraiser for education: She has experience as a business consultant in the music industry and she is an avid member of the PTA. She is the mother of two Peninsula High School students.
Sustained by sponsorships and advertisements, the website is a way to raise funds for schools by directing 100% of the proceeds from music downloads to a school of choice, and to promote musicians by featuring them on the website.
“I’m hoping that this is going to be the start of awakening in the nation,” Niden said. “No matter how large or small this [project] is, I hope that it will encourage other groups to take steps towards combating the budget crisis. I want OMG to be the spark that starts a chain - a chain reaction.”
Unlike many other academic and extracurricular programs that require exorbitant upfront costs, participation for schools and musicians is free. Downloads are 99 cents. OMG offers a broad collection of music in various genres and languages because Niden says that “music is something that brings all cultures together.”
She says she hopes students, not just parents, would be empowered to help, so OMG Global was named to cater to the teenage demographic.
“I think it’s an amazing website that allows music to be shared and appreciated while helping support the education system,” Katie Low, a junior at Peninsula High School, said. “I love the fact that with every song I download, I am helping my school financially.”
“Until top priority is put into the education system by our state, we will continue the downward spiral in preparing our future generations to lead our country,” Lester Sakurai, a 30-year veteran math teacher at Lloyde High School, said. “Amidst this crisis, we can find hope in these fundraising programs.”