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My story starts in the tropical land of Liberia, located in West Africa. Born to Jefferson Labala(pastor/university professor ) and Hilderia Labala(school principal), the values emphasized in my home were education, discipline, and love for others. I was the middle child with a younger brother and older sister. In Liberia I soaked up the music of West Africa and this served as the first foundation of my musical profile.

My family later moved to the United States and we were indeed blessed to escape prior to the civil war starting. Music for me during this stage on my life served as an anchor to a culture that I had been separated from. At the age of 11 I began taking piano lessons upon the request of my parents. I initially did not want to as I felt that piano lessons were just for girls. Having the awesome parent that I had, they responded with just the right balance of control and compassion. My parents told me to at least give it a try, if I did not enjoy it I would be free to discontinue. So I began lessons with Mrs. Jane and I have been glad ever since that my parents followed through in giving me that opportunity.

My piano teacher was an excellent teacher in terms of her musical proficiency and her expectations of excellence from her students. I soon joined the middle school choir and continued with music in high school. As my skills increased in playing the piano, by high school I began playing the piano for my high school choir on select performances. I also began serving as the lead pianist for one of my church choirs and started teaching piano lessons myself. Under the musical direction of Mr. Potter my church youth director, I added gospel piano to the current classical and jazz styles that I had learned from Mrs. Jane.

In high school I was also introduced to computer programming through my younger brother. He taught me a great deal and sparked another passion of mine. While in high school math classes, I would program software on the graphing calculator to help students answer math problems. I negotiated a deal with my math teacher and she allowed the students to use the software I had program to answer complex math problems if they would show their work. By the end of high school I was programming video games with animation and sound.

After high school my options before me were to either study to be a music teacher, a therapist , or work in the computer science field. I decided to chart all three paths. My undergraduate studies led me to Salisbury University where I was accepted into the Thomas E. Bellavance Honors Program. At Salisbury University I continued musical education through the general education curriculum. Having access to the honors house I got to continue practicing my skills on the piano in the honors house. I majored in social work and minored in computer science. As a freshman my computer programming abilities amazed my professor who was unable to replicate the level of sophistication in computer programing that I as a recent high school graduate student could.

After my undergraduate studies I pursued and obtained my masters in social work from the University of Maryland Baltimore School of Social Work. During that time I started a web design business with my younger brother. Upon receiving my license to practice as a mental health therapist, I started working in the Talbot County school system as a school based therapist. I have since been working with children in the mental health /child welfare system, as I currently am employed with Baltimore City Department of Social Services as a supervisor.

I currently serve as a one of three pianist on the team of musicains for Huber Memorial church where I am a member. I believe my compassion and experience with children as a social worker helps me to better connect with my students. And my technology expertise allows me to incorporate digital music composition as a part of my curriculum. My passion is music, I love helping people, and I am gifted in the field of computers. That pretty much gives a good snapshot who I am. I thank God for all the gifts He has given me and give Him the praise.