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Glorie Stonisch-Jimenez

Stonisch Foundation

For Glorie Stonisch-Jimenez, it has always been about the kids. With a master’s degree in early education from the University of Michigan, Glorie spent her life working to give children the proper educational start. Glorie has also dedicated years in support of orchestral music, serving on the board of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and as chair of Symphony Under the Stars in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. She is also an executive with her family’s foundation, which in the past 70-plus years has given away more than $50 million.

The former preschool founder didn’t want to stop helping students just because she and her husband retired to Southwest Florida. So, she decided to pair those two passions — education and music — into support for the Naples Philharmonic youth ensembles, where talented students can get more in-depth musical training.

“It’s very important for children to be exposed to music at an early age,” Glorie says. “And the earlier you expose them the better.”

Glorie says the discipline required to play an instrument and perform with an ensemble helps build crucial skills that will follow students throughout their careers, even if they aren’t in music. Research backs up her beliefs. Learning an instrument and performing with others improves academic scores, develops motor skills, boosts self-esteem, builds social skills and improves patience.

“It’s magical to watch the youth ensembles perform,” she says. “I feel in my heart that it’s so wonderful to be able to give these children opportunities. There are so many children in our community that deserve and need a little boost. Music can give it to them.”

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