By Korey Wilson
Boston, MA — Music has been a huge part of Juri Love’s life for as long as she can remember. Love learned to play the piano at the age of three, and within a year was playing in her mother’s rock band. Her musical journey led to four self-produced albums, a college degree from one of America’s leading music conservatories, and numerous teaching and performance opportunities.
But, while music provided Love with much joy, it was also the antidote for a great deal of pain. As a child growing up in Japan, Love was physically and sexually abused by her father, a trusted town official. She endured experiences of homelessness and bullying. At the age of fifteen, suffering from depression and PTSD, Love attempted suicide. It was then that music gave Love a desire to stay alive.
“Coming from an abusive, dysfunctional family, music saved me. I just wanted to give back to the community,” shares Love.
During her senior year at Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2001, Love founded what began as a class project and became a nonprofit organization, Genuine Voices, that teaches music production to juvenile offenders. Genuine Voices has helped hundreds of at-risk children and has been recognized by the Boston Celtics and the New England Patriots for its inspirational work.
“Volunteerism is life changing,” explains Love. “You gain so much from helping other people. It’s so rewarding when you have influenced somebody’s life.”
Today, Love gives piano and voice lessons, while working on her fifth album and new career in journalism with The Foxboro Reporter, where she covers community news stories.
“I had absolutely zero background in journalism when I met Rick Foster, the Foxboro reporter who wrote a cover story about my son and I performing the National Anthem at Boston City Hall. He asked me if I knew anything newsworthy in Foxboro. The next day, I gave him five leads and two got published,” she says.
Foster introduced Love to Craig Borges, managing editor of The Sun Chronicle, who then offered Love a job.
“They had so much faith in me. I am so humbled and grateful,” shares Love.
Currently, Love is writing her memoir, A Gift From Adversity, a heartfelt project that she hopes will serve as a source of inspiration for people who are experiencing PTSD or trauma.
Love finds her greatest inspiration in her seven-year-old son and one-year-old daughter. “I see the life I didn’t have through them, so it motivates me to be a better person and mother. I had a very difficult childhood, compared to my children. My goal is to make life happy for them and provide a safe environment for them. No matter how abusive, dysfunctional, or horrible your environment is, you can overcome obstacles,” declares Love. “It’s all about your attitude.”
To learn more visit her website: jurilove.com