Lightning community hero creates Metro Ministries music program

- In music and in life, 17-year-old Emma Skantze tries to hit the right note.

"It's a great way to express your emotions that you might not be able to express through words", said Skantze.

Playing piano has given the Land O'Lakes High senior an outlet.

"Even when I have a hard day at school or when i had something come up that made me sad mad angry I could go play at the piano", said Skantze.

She figured it could also help other kids who may need an escape from their troubles.

"When you start playing an instrument you kind of get off into a different world", said Skantze.

Having worked with Metropolitan Ministries before, she thought a music program could be helpful for kids there, especially during the holiday season.

"Provide instruments for the kids to play on while their parents are picking out food and presents and such", said Skantze.

So she did some homework about the cost of instruments.

She applied for the Lightning Community Hero Program in hopes of using the money to fulfill her dream.

Her wish came true.

She was picked as the Lighting Community Hero of tomorrow with a donation of $25,000 going towards her music program at Metropolitan Ministries.

"It was so awesome, I was so excited", said Skantze.

"She's bringing a music program that we're going to highlight in our tent and on our campus for years to come", said Metropolitan Ministries President and CEO Tim Marks.

Whether it's through music or donations, Emma said the key to giving back is compassion.

"It's so easy to end up in this situation if you are unlucky you lose one job, something leads to another you might be somebody who needs help and you should always help others", said Skantze.

Metropolitan Ministries is collecting toy donations through Christmas Eve. If you can help, go to the holiday tent at 905 N. Governor Street in Tampa or donate online at

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