17-year-old Detroit music prodigy needs help for college

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Jherrard Hardeman is only a teen, but he's already a classical conductor, composer and violinist.

Now he has the opportunity of a lifetime, but he needs some help achieving his dream.

"If you don't have a degree, it's hard to get anywhere," said Hardeman. "It's so expensive but worth it to get all the knowledge that comes with that degree."

A 17-year-old accomplished violinist and composer has overcome a lot to get to this point.

"We found out at four months old he had a cataract in his right eye," said Leila Hardeman. “We had surgery done; he had a number of years of patching and still did not regain sight in his eye.

"On top of that it looks, like he may need cataract surgery again."

And he's not about to let a lack of money get in his way, either. He's already been accepted into the New England Conservatory of Music, but tuition is a hefty $55,000.

"That is more than I make in a year," his mother said. "I have to be practical and think of ways to do this. We've tried several ways to fundraise."

He already has scholarships and loans to cover $32,000 but needs more than $25,000 more by Aug. 29.

"Then I can get a job on campus and earn money myself," Jherrard said.

He's started a GoFundMe account, but giving to him is not a one-way street.

"There is a give and take here, and I do appreciate that people who give, should also receive," Leila said.

"There are reward levels," Jherrard said. "If you donate certain amounts you will get certain things. (Up) to $100 you will get an autographed score and a recording of my Fifth Symphony that I have written."

For $20,000 can have your own symphony written just for you - by a product of Detroit.

"Detroit deserves a classical era," Leila said. "And he was born in Detroit at Hutzel Hospital and he is very much a Detroiter."

To donate, go to: Gofundme.com/ssutes