Summer 2015

Ministering to At-Risk Kids With Music

By Cambria Hayashino

Lindsay Reed believes in the power of music to change lives. And through Biola’s Conservatory of Music, she has been able to witness firsthand the positive impact it can make in underserved communities.

“Music is healing; a universal language that breaks down barriers,” said Reed, a current music education student. “Everyone understands it, and it has a lot of power in ways that words can’t always express.”

At Biola, Reed has been breaking down barriers through a partnership that started when the Los Angeles Dream Center approached the conservatory in April 2014 with a desire to expose kids from inner city Los Angeles to music. The conservatory’s faculty, knowing Reed’s passion, asked her if she would like to develop the new program. What they didn’t know was that this was a direct answer to prayer; Reed had been praying for two years for an opportunity to help at-risk kids.

As a part of the program, the Dream Center buses children to Biola once a month for a full day of music, food and mentorship from a team of 40 Biola student volunteers, with Reed at the helm.

In the fall of 2014, however, the future of the program was in question before the first buses of kids ever arrived. Reed was several thousand dollars short of her tuition payment and wasn’t sure she would be able to re- turn to Biola.

“I had barely enough in my savings account to make the down payment,” she said. “I was scared because we were going to launch the program and I didn’t want to break the promise to these kids. They were so excited and I didn’t want to let them down.”

However, Reed knew the Lord had provided for her first two years, and she trusted that he would continue to do so, she said. In the end, she received $1,000 from the Ken Bascom Memorial Scholarship that gave her just enough to continue. And in the spring, she received word that another Biola supporter had given a contribution to provide for the following semester.

Reed is deeply grateful for the way that God has provided for her Biola education, often through the generosity of scholarship donors.

“I don’t know how to say thank you without it sounding cliché, but I and other students dependent on scholarships genuinely mean that,” she said. “It would be impossible for some of us to be here without people generously giving of their money, willing to trust that God is going to do with the money what he planned.” 

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