This is why we give out scholarships…
“The story of how I got to Visible flows from my salvation,” says songwriter Rachel Min. As a result of her childhood, she battled depression and suicide at as a teenager. “During those years in my life, the only beauty and hope that I found was in music.” At 16, Rachel ran away from her home in Hawaii, only to find herself on her knees in a church bathroom, begging to hear the voice of God. He answered her and gave her direction, a vision of music, and a dream of an all-girl metal band. From that moment forward, she has pursued God and her ministry furiously. Her education at Visible Music College is a vital piece of her ministry and is only possible because of Visible’s scholarship program.
After many obstacles, including a crushed guitar-playing hand and the death of her grandmother, God brought Rachel to Visible through a student scholarship with the college’s affiliated label Madison Line Records. (She currently works on the marketing and social media team). “If it wasn’t for the scholarship, there’s no way I could have come here,” she says. “God provides, and I’m sure there would have been another way. But for now, I know he wanted me to come through the avenue of the scholarship.”
Rachel is getting a real look into what it takes to make a record and to get heard as an artist. “This is a place where it’s safe to learn and make mistakes. That’s what I love about it,” she says. “I still have things I need to work on before I find my bandmates and Visible is going to help me get there. God has a plan, so right now I’m waiting.” Rachel attends music and ministry classes throughout the week along with her hours spent at Madison Line. When she is not in class, she is up late practicing, networking and planning events for the record label. Her days and nights are filled to the brim with hard work in the music industry. Rachel’s scholarship is an investment in her academic experience through professional development, a critical piece of her education. Students like Rachel are given the chance to live out their God-given purpose in college and beyond because of scholarship opportunities at Visible.
Worship leading major Bikram Ranapheli found his way to Visible Music College through the International Student Scholarship. Originally from Nepal, Bikram began his studies at Visible in 2014 and aspires to work in the local church, leading in discipleship training. “Whether I stay in Memphis or go back to Nepal, I want to start a training center for music in the church,” he says. Worship is very different in Nepal than the United States: very structured and traditional. Visible has inspired Bikram to share the freedom of worship he has found wherever his future takes him.
As a worship leading major, he has the opportunity to lead the Visible community in worship and learn from many established leaders in the local church. He has individual music lessons and a specialization class to learn from his peers as well. When he is not in class, Bikram can often be found at the front desk, welcoming guests as a part of Visible’s hospitality team. By offering him an opportunity to work hard for his degree, Visible has radically changed Bikram’s future. Without the International Student Scholarship, he would be denied proper training and access to his mission field in the United States. Now, Bikram has access to a Visa and an education to help carry out his heart for worship.
At Visible, learning opportunities are not limited to an in-class education.”It’s a great blessing and opportunity to see how God works here and to serve other people in the United States.” Visible students have the unique experience of simultaneously working toward their degree and developing their career professionally. Such experience would not be possible for Bikram without his scholarship.
Students who qualify for a Visible scholarship commit 12 hours per week to serving on campus in a position geared toward their specific major. “My job is to monitor the keyboard lab and carry out any tasks that my keyboard professor asks me to do,” says keyboard major Devonte Truesdale. “It teaches you discipline and how to be organized with your time, all foundational for becoming an adult.”
Devonte discovered Visible by what he would call a miracle. After the tragic loss of his mother, God led him to a woman who took him as her spiritual son, and eventually, to Visible. “I’m a walking testimony,” he says. “I realize now that God had to take my mom away to move me where he needed me to be.” Devonte is where God called him because of a Visible scholarship. In between work hours, scholarship students attend classes by day and rehearsal by night. Devonte is now diligently working through his second year, discovering his passion for jazz music and developing his ministry.
Visible Music College aims to make a rewarding college experience available to everyone by offering a number of different scholarships to fit every student’s need. A Visible education trains and equips musicians in professional music and ministry experience. Scholarships transform the dream of earning a music degree into reality for students like Rachel, Bikram and Devonte. Those scholarships are made possible by donors like Shane O’Connor, a member of the Visible Music College Advisory Board, former Boar Chairman and long-time financial supporter of the college.
“Worshipping and connecting radically with God in heartfelt song is the most deeply satisfying and fulfilling experience in life,” he says. “It transforms me. Visible Music College students are our next generation of worship leaders and Christian artists. I have donated to the scholarship fund for years. I cannot think of a more significant way to invest in the advancement of the Kingdom of God.”
To learn more about how you can support a student’s education, click here.