Guitars Over Guns Organization (“GOGO”) was founded in 2008 by Dr. Chad Bernstein, an accomplished professional trombonist and educator in Miami, and his father, Bob Bernstein, a successful financial professional in Chicago. The inspiration derived from their joint desire to formalize the ad-hoc mentoring that many members of Suénalo, a popular Miami band of which Chad was a member, had been providing in their community for years. After several years studying philanthropic start-ups, the first program was born with an intense desire to provide kids from the most under-served neighborhoods opportunities to play music, especially music they love . . . opportunities that Chad and all the mentors had in their lives but saw fading from school curriculums and budgets.
Through an initial partnership with Communities in Schools (CIS) of Miami, GOGO began mentoring students of North Miami middle school. The program grew over the next three years, increasing in popularity among the students and gaining traction in the school and community through performances. GOGO opened a second program in 2012-13 at Miami Edison Middle School. After Edison permanently closed their doors in 2014, GOGO moved to Miami Allapattah Middle School.Visit Guitars over Guns organization's Website