GradImpact: Music as a Path out of Poverty

    When she was six years old, Dafne Guevara, a doctoral candidate in musical arts at the University of Nevada, Las, Vegas, discovered her musical ability. Her mother had enrolled her in a music program to keep her off the streets of El Chorrillo, Panama, a country with the second worst income distribution in Latin America and where roughly 25% of the population lives in poverty. Guevara overcame many obstacles, including discouraging words from an elementary school teacher.

    Guevara left Panama for North Carolina on a Fulbright scholarship in 2010 to study flute performance and earned her master’s degree. While pursuing her doctorate at UNLV, she decided to do something to benefit her home country and organized the first-ever flute festival at the University of Panama. Guevara began by founding a non-profit organization, Asociación Panameña de Flautistas (APAFLUT), to assist with fundraising. She applied for scholarships and grants, reached out to mentors, and held recitals to raise money to host the festival.


    67 students aged 12-21 from six countries and 17 artists and instructors gathered during the summer of 2017 to see first-hand the power of music. Sponsors helped to pay the tuition and fees for many of the students. “I wanted the whole music community to see that they can do it,” Guevara said. “If you set your mind to something, you can do it.” To learn more about Dafne’s work visit the University of Nevada, Las Vegas website.


    Visit the GradImpact Feature Gallery to learn more about the amazing, innovative research being done by graduate students and alumni across the world.



    Photo Credit: UNLV Creative Services


    The CGS GRADIMPACT project draws from member examples to tell the larger story of graduate education. Our goal is to demonstrate the importance of graduate education not only to degree holders, but also to the communities where we live and work. Do you have a great story to share about the impact of master’s or doctoral education? Visit our WEBSITE for more information.


    CGS is the leading source of information, data analysis, and trends in graduate education. Our benchmarking data help member institutions to assess performance in key areas, make informed decisions, and develop plans that are suited to their goals.
    CGS Best Practice initiatives address common challenges in graduate education by supporting institutional innovations and sharing effective practices with the graduate community. Our programs have provided millions of dollars of support for improvement and innovation projects at member institutions.
    As the national voice for graduate education, CGS serves as a resource on issues regarding graduate education, research, and scholarship. CGS collaborates with other national stakeholders to advance the graduate education community in the policy and advocacy arenas.  
    CGS is an authority on global trends in graduate education and a leader in the international graduate community. Our resources and meetings on global issues help members internationalize their campuses, develop sustainable collaborations, and prepare their students for a global future.