Pan United Youth Movement
In 2004, Shawn Thwaites founded Pan United Youth Movement (PUYM), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, to empower under-served youth with essential life skills through music education and performance. With the support of PUYM, Thwaites founded three youth steel orchestras: Virginia All Steel Orchestra (VASO), Washington National Steel Orchestra (WNSO), and Youth Empowerment Steel (YES) Orchestra. VASO and WNSO have performed throughout the United States. Some of their favorite past performance venues include Disney World and Universal Studios. In 2009, Shawn led a music workshop with Esperanza Spalding at the University of Maryland, featuring PUYM students.
Currently, PUYM is supporting the YES Orchestra in Sacramento, California.