Who We Are

OUR MISSION is to provide youth the necessary skills to make well informed choices that lead to a healthy lifestyle and successful future.

In implementing our mission, BSI seeks to…

  • bridge gaps in academics;
  • strengthen values in families;
  • develop leadership skills;
  • build self-esteem and confidence;
  • promote discipline; and
  • combat juvenile delinquency.

through the participation in a performing drum line.

Boom Squad, Inc. (BSI) is a performing drum line located in the heart of Evansville, Indiana, at 800 S. Evans Ave., 47713. We consist of 215 students representing 41 schools in the Evansville Metropolitan Area. Students are between the ages of 4 -17. In addition, there are more than 60 parent and adult volunteers. The majority of all students, parents and volunteers live within Evansville’s urban district 4th Ward.

BSI is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that focuses on delinquency prevention, academic achievement, and family development by providing an arts-based percussion program. The program provides percussion training, early intervention, community involvement, role modeling, social support, and educational experiences to combat juvenile delinquency and negative attention in the school system.


BSI has six instructors that write, arrange, and teach percussion technique, percussion music, parade cadences, drills, show style routines and dance. With this instruction, the drum line and dance squad performs at various sporting event halftime shows, parades, community functions, and social events. All performances are family oriented and are appropriate for every member of the family.

The percussion programming is the element used to attract youth. The performing drum line is a result of creatively designing and combining the percussion element with the youth’s interest. We practice on Tuesdays and Fridays 5-7 p.m. and Saturdays 10 – noon (if we are not performing). When the BSI Director determines that a student is ready to perform, the youth is allowed to demonstrate his/her percussion skill in front of massive crowds.

BSI Management locates and books various performing engagements. The performances are then used as incentives to persuade the student to follow rules, do well in school, and disengage delinquency peer associations. For example: Should a student not comply with established rules, his/her performance for the NBA Indiana Pacers or an overnight parade trip to Birmingham, AL may be forfeited.

Our most persuasive incentives are the college trips. In front of thousands of spectators, our students march and perform in the same parades that some of the top college show bands march and perform in. Our students then watch these bands and drum lines battle each other in front of thousands of spectators for ultimate bragging rights. Our students begin to emulate the college drum lines and develop a deep desire to attend college. BSI then puts the student on the path to get there.


However, BSI is more than a drum line. Our program is modeled after the Youth/ARTS Development Project. The Youth/ARTS Development Project is a comprehensive study conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the National Endowment for the Arts. Youth/ARTS focused on the relationship of arts programs and at-risk youth.

These programs involved music, dance, and different art forms. The study showed a decrease in delinquent behavior, improved attitudes regarding school, and resistance to peer pressure among program participants.

Using the Youth/ARTS Development Project as a model, BSI:

1) — pursues early intervention by targeting pre-school, elementary school, and middle school youth. These targeted youth are introduced to percussion technique, learn to read music, participate in high-energy practices, learn cadences, routines, drills, and demonstrate their new skills in media exposed performances. The younger, vulnerable participants also benefit from “peer to peer” mentoring by observing older youth demonstrate the discipline and work ethic required to develop a top-notch performance.

2) — uses community-based resources by working with Indiana Youth Institute, Youth Services Bureau, Indiana Non-Profit Resources Center, United Way, and other youth consultants to enhance staff qualifications by participating in frequent training seminars to stay on the cutting edge of youth development strategies to sustain BSI programs.

BSI Round Table Sessions teach traditional etiquette, discipline, and leadership. This is our life skills class. Each Saturday afternoon from 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., BSI students meet with parents, volunteers, community leaders, and a variety of speakers to discuss a broad range of topics, such as risky behaviors, college choices, individual creativity, international culture, and more.

Round Table also serves as BSI’s community outreach. Round Table students visit nursing homes, take college tours, and, participate in community projects such as health fairs. The community supports our youth through Round Table by conducting workshops and presentations.

We work with other non-profit organizations to assist in the implementation of their mission. (i.e., we have performed for several community events such as walks for Diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease, Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Down Syndrome).

We are the “beat of support” for the YMCA Half-Marathon, St. Patrick’s Day Run, Toyota 5K Run, Ellis Park 5K Run, etc.

We are regular participants in civic programs such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. recognition programs, back to school programs, end of school programs, corporate community family days, church family and fun days, college recruitment fairs, job fairs, public ground breakings, etc.

We are a welcomed attraction in most local and regional parades for 4th of July, Flag Day, Freedom Festivals, Fall Festivals, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Labor Day, Diversity Day, Veteran’s Day, etc.

This participation exposes our students to information and awareness which is vital to healthy child development.

3) — increases commitment to school by requiring BSI students that struggle academically to participate in after school tutoring programs. When our students have specific problems at school, the BSI Director makes a personal visit to the school to get involved in the situation.

The BSI Director works with teachers, administrators and counselors. The BSI Director may even sit thru all classes with a student for several consecutive days to work thru a situation. This “hands on” involvement sends a clear message to the student that BSI is “family” and the student is never alone. This also sends a clear message to the school that BSI is “family” and available to help keep the student on a path to academic success.

4) — decreases delinquent peer associations by filling students’ non-productive idle time with activities and creating an environment for positive peer association. BSI encourages its students to form other clubs or organizations in areas of interest with other BSI students. Once a quarter, BSI rewards discipline and hard work by entertaining students with a skate party, movie, arcade party, etc. where all BSI students are invited but the general public is not.


Our goal is to provide a structured alternative music & arts activity that has an immediate positive impact on decision-making and educational outcomes, resulting in a decrease in adverse involvement with the juvenile justice system, an increase in school attitude for academic success, and a venue for family unity and togetherness

…….not because of the BSI incentives

…….but simply because it’s the right thing to do.

ultimately leading to a healthy lifestyle and successful future.


As part of the BSI Application and Membership process, all students are required to have a release of school information on file with BSI Management. BSI Volunteers are also listed as emergency contact individuals at school for our students. Therefore, if a situation occurs at school with a BSI Student, hat needs parental attention, the BSI Director is contacted by the school immediately.

Furthermore, the public and private school systems release academic progress reports to BSI Management. A copy of our students’ report cards are simultaneously sent to the BSI business mailbox when these report cards are sent home.

We evaluate the success the of our program by the behavior and attitudes of our students. We have found that our students demonstrate positive change in behavior at school and in the community as evidenced by surveys to education professionals, family and other community contacts.

BSI reaches youth that few other organizations reach. We are rewarded by knowing that our students now see opportunities that they never knew existed. Our students now speak of their dream to attend college and battle on the drum line while studying engineering. They no longer limit their dreams to being a professional athlete with their name on a pair of sneakers.

This sense of hope and overt expression of mind transformation is most difficult to quantify for purposes of evaluation. But we know we are changing at-risk kids’ thinking from ‘get what I can to survive today’… to hope for the future and a desire to work for a better tomorrow. And changing their thinking changes their behavior. And changing their behavior changes their lives. and just knowing that we are helping make a change to better their lives, makes it all worth it.