Come fall, Palmer Trinity graduate Karley Chynces will attend Florida International University. And, while her major remains undecided, she is considering earning an associate’s degree in business, and then transferring to another university to study communications and marketing.
“I don’t want to settle on my major because there other things that I’m interested in,” Chynces says.
One of her passions is music and she is such a good pianist that she was accepted into the music schools of both Florida International University and the University of Miami. She says she even considered music therapy as a career since she likes helping people with disabilities or depression through music.
“It’s something everyone can relate to in some way or another,” she says. However, Chynces is now leaning toward the idea of keeping music as a hobby in her life and entering the business world professionally.
Throughout high school, Chynces took private lessons and entered many music competitions on both local and national levels. In fact, she earned Top Talent scores for six consecutive years from The Guild competition at the University of Miami. She has also performed for community service projects.
“I’ve participated in jazz festivals and I’ve performed at the Fair, and at Dadeland,” she says.
Chynces recently became certified as an instructor and she has taken on some students. She also started a non-profit for her music work. She gives cyber-piano lessons to people unable to have one-on-one lessons, such as children with cancer.
“This is a really good way for them to get their mind off of disease,” she says. “The same for an orphanage; it would be difficult to go there, but I can do it on line. It’s convenient and fast, and you get the same experience and quality.”
She has already started working with a child from Spain who is unable to use the right side of his body. Last winter Chynces worked out the fingering for a Christmas carol that could be played only using the left hand.
“It really made his holidays happy,” Chynces says.
At first she communicated with the child’s father via email and then she taught the boy how to play over Skype. His grandmother also helped.
“I’m planning on making this organization bigger and making everything cyber,” she says, adding that she is learning sign language in order to be able to communicate with some disabled students.
Chynces was an involved student while attending Palmer Trinity, but she spent the most of her time working with BestBuddies.
“My sister has special needs,” she says. “I started the club at Palmer. I started it when I was a sophomore. They did have one, but the past president never assigned a new person to take control. So Best Buddies approached me. I re-founded it in 2010. It’s been a success ever since.”
As president for three years, Chynces built the club into a promoter chapter, which works with all the schools that have special needs students.
“We have better chances of having larger turnouts to our events,” she says. “We have had a Thanksgiving breakfast, Christmas parties and Halloween dances. And we’ve had outside activities.
The field day this past year was so much fun!” The field day at Palmer involved relay races, a hula hoop contest, Hot Potato and egg races. The Buddies came from several schools, including the Learning Experience and Homestead High.
For her work with Best Buddies, Chynces received the Presidential Award, given to students who are in the top 10 percent in Florida for community service. She also received the Prudential Spirit of the Community Award. By Linda Bernfeld Rodriguez