ATLANTA -- Whether in a studio, in front of a crowd, or doing his solo thing, the soundtrack of life for Jonathan Velazquez involves music as a way of breaking down barriers.
"Everyone loves music" said Jonathan. "It has a way of just bringing people together. Something I love about it so much."
"First, he has a passion for music and he has a passion for giving back to the community." said Ric Ross, music producer and promoter with You World Global Media.
Jonathan's years of volunteering for non-profits has allowed him to meet kids like Desmond Jack, a fourth grader at Drew Charter School in Atlanta.
"He (Jonathan) helps us and he talks in a way I can relate with him. So, I can learn better," said Desmond.
The pair met at Odyssey, a summer camp for Atlanta Public School students held at the Westminster Schools where Jonathan, 17, is a rising senior.
"He's fantastic. He's been with us several years. He obviously really loves it. Actually, I'm so impressed that he's taken his experience with odyssey and run with it,' said M.J. Thorne, Director of Odyssey Camp about Jonathan.
A couple years ago, Jonathan decided to combine his love of music with his community service and came up with idea of a summer music camp
"I want to focus on underprivileged kids. People who don't have the opportunities to get into the music industry," said Jonathan.
He contacted Ross, who has worked with recording artists such as Anita Baker, Snoop Dogg, Isley Bros., Al Green, Tyrese and Sean" P. Diddy" Combs.
Jonathan heard Ross speak during a session on careers in music at a youth forum.
"He actually called Ric, put a proposal together, a fundraising proposal and presented to Ric during lunch," said Audra Wallace, Jonathan's mother.
"He showed me his plan on what he was doing and I was like incredible," said Ross. "Jonathan's a great kid, and he's doing something that I wish I'd started out earlier doing. I think he sets an example of what kids need to be doing."
The ultimate compliment comes from someone Jonathan's mentored.
"He inspires me of how to be like him," said Desmond.
Jonathan is one of five winners of 11Alive's Kids Who Care Award, a scholarship given to teenagers who are committed to community service. The award is given in partnership with the Junior League of Atlanta.