2018 InFaith Scholarship Recipients | InFaith Community Foundation

2018 InFaith Scholarship Recipients

InFaith offers two types of scholarship funds – designated scholarship and InFaith administered scholarships. In 2017, InFaith donors granted more than $3.5 million in educational assistance including scholarships, tuition assistance and graduate fellowship programs.

This year, InFaith is highlighting awardees from three of our scholarship funds:

  • InFaith Community Foundation Scholarship
  • InFaith's WomenLead Scholarship
  • Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church of North Minneapolis Scholarship

More information about these scholarships can be found on our scholarship page.

Kyle Little, recipient of the InFaith Community Foundation Scholarship

 

Kyle will be attending Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, this fall.

What do you plan to study?

Physics, chemistry and mathematics are subjects that not only interest me but capture my greater academic gifts; therefore, I am currently planning to major in one of these curricular areas. However, music inspires me and brings great joy to my life, so I will continue to pursue these interests as well at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.

What inspired you to choose this area of study?

I enjoy learning new scientific and mathematical things, and I hope to pursue a college degree in these areas in order to gain the skills necessary for new innovations in science and for the opportunity to influence the affairs of the world.

How will this scholarship change your life?

Paying for college will be a challenge since my parents have careers that impact the lives of people, yet may not have the monetary benefits of other occupations. This scholarship will significantly lessen the financial obligations of college tuition – for this, I am very thankful!

How do you want to make a difference in the world?

We have been given so much in this country. God has gifted me with a warm home, food in the refrigerator, people who love me, and talents that I can use to make a difference in this world. I have been blessed, and I hope to share my talents, my finances, my love for others, and my commitment to the needs of those less fortunate than myself.

What would you say to the donors who made this scholarship possible?

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity, and for your commitment to faith and the future of God's people. Education at a quality private university such as Concordia College might otherwise be impossible without gifts such as this InFaith Scholarship. Your gifts have made a difference in my life, and I hope to someday return the favor to another student such as myself!

Meisha Brown, recipient of InFaith's WomenLead Scholarship

Meisha is a graduate student entering her final year at Texas A&M University.

What are you studying?

I am currently pursuing a Doctorate of Philosophy in Health Education. As a certified health minister, I consider the achievement of obtaining a terminal degree as a tool that will enable me to practice my calling both in the marketplace and in the church.

What inspired you to choose this area of study?

Since childhood, my joy is found in being a light that shines amidst the darkness. I grew up around many people enduring suffering due to physical illness, spiritual agony, mental anguish, and social disenfranchisement. I have always been eager to leverage the capacity of hope in my faith to make the adversity experienced in life to work to my advantage and teach others to do the same. This vision has led me to experience much torment. As a visionary, the Lord shows me what shall be, but quite often I have wanted to hasten the process to get to the expected end. The pursuit of structured education has taught me patience so that I may acquire discipline in life and in the learning process. I feel certain the process empowers me to prosper through hard work, resilience, and sincere dedication to personal growth and service to others.

How will this scholarship change your life?

I set my sights on serving others and using my gifts in the church as a teenager. I am most thankful that I have always received encouragement and support from my loved ones, including family, friends, and a roster of mentors that invest in my life and commitment to service. This scholarship further validates that I am on the right track. This acknowledgement also affirms that I must not grow weary in well-doing and in just the right time I will receive the help needed to help me along my path of enhancing my present, advancing my future, and sustaining my faith.

How do you want to make a difference in the world?

I believe that I am purposed to help people heal, holistically. Since 2014, I felt humbled to be appointed to lead the health ministry at the Windsor Village Church Family in Houston, Texas. This privileged duty has allowed me to help others understand that health is more than the absence or presence of disease but obtaining optimal healing in spirit, mind, body, socially, and emotionally. We help our congregation and community work towards achieving optimal health through more than 50 academic, biopharma, community, and faith-based partnerships for health programming and research. My ultimate desire is to help others realize the church in its physical structure is like an academic medical center, where people learn, grow, and heal. I still have a long way to go in order to better communicate this message, and to tell the story of Jesus' healing ministry in the most truthful way that I can.

What would you say to the donors who made this scholarship possible?

I am grateful for the generosity of the donors that have committed their resources to helping alleviate the debt of those committed to advancing the faith community and service to others. This scholarship reduces the financial strain that I have incurred in the pursuit of higher education as well as my subsequent degree required for ordained ministry. We are truly blessed to be a blessing to others and I must remain committed to lifting others as I achieve new heights.

Jaleesa Hall, recipient of InFaith's WomenLead Scholarship

Jaleesa will be in her third year of her Masters of Divinity Program at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.  

What are you studying?

I am a third year Master of Divinity student and Community Engagement Fellow at Wesley Theological Seminary. My particular focus area is urban ministry, where I am learning to holistically engage the complex issues confronting metropolitan communities with the love of Christ in a manner that promotes flourishing.

What inspired you to choose this area of study?

I chose the area of urban ministry because it is a context in which I come from being born and raised in Miami, Florida. Also, I desire to be a faith leader who embodies new and hopeful understandings of community given the realities of city living, and take seriously the model of Jesus to move individuals and communities toward wholeness by innovating, integrating and initiating effective ministries.

How will this scholarship change your life?

This scholarship will not only provide much needed financial relief for my last year of schooling, but also provide me with the opportunity to deepen my community engagement project that is a part of the Community Engagement Fellows program I participate in at Wesley.

How do you want to make a difference in the world?

The way in which I want to make a difference in the world is through the area of public service with particular attention to my community engagement project, the Raising A Village Foundation. With Raising A Village, I hope to create effective approaches in community engagement, social-entrepreneurship and ministry in metropolitan areas with transitioning communities.

What would you say to the donors who made this scholarship possible?

I would like to say thank you, thank you, thank you to all of the donors who have made this scholarship possible! Knowing that there are individuals out there who are supporting women of color to go further in their calling and ministry is absolutely AMAZING! I am so grateful!

Sara Sorenson, recipient of the Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church of North Minneapolis Scholarship

Sara is a graduate student studying for her Masters of Church Music degree at Concordia University in Mequon, Wisconsin.

What are you studying?
I am currently in the Master of Church Music program. My emphasis is on the pipe organ.

What inspired you to choose this area of study?

I have been fascinated with the music of the church since childhood. As far back as I can remember I have loved hymns, liturgy, and the pipe organ. As a child, I wanted to take piano lessons so I could eventually learn organ, but my family could not afford lessons. I enrolled in the school orchestra, which was free in the public school. Violin was my first instrument. I was blessed with a wonderful music director at my church during this time. She was a great mentor to me. She led by example as a faithful church musician. She saw my interest and encouraged me to play my violin for worship services beginning when I was eleven years old. It was then, as a 6th grader, that I decided I was going to be a church musician. I attempted to teach myself piano and I was able to afford one year of piano lessons by teaching violin lessons. After high school I did follow through with the dream of becoming a church musician, graduating from Concordia University, St. Paul, with a Director of Parish Music degree.

How will this scholarship change your life?

This scholarship makes it possible for me to continue working toward a Master of Church Music degree without having to take out more loans. As a pastor's wife and the mother of two girls, this scholarship takes a lot of financial pressure off of my family. My husband encouraged me to enter this program without either of us really knowing how we would pay for it. This scholarship is truly a gift from God.

How do you want to make a difference in the world?

God has given the gift of music to the Church as a vehicle for proclamation and praise. It is my sincere hope that the Lord will use me to provide music for worship that assists in the formation and nurture of faith in Christ through His Word. It is a very great responsibility and one that I do not take lightly. I pray that God will continually increase my skills so I may serve effectively. The more my music can support the preaching of the Gospel, the more the focus of worship will be on Christ and His work. When the focus is on Christ, people will receive strengthening of their faith through the Holy Spirit. It is this work of the Holy Spirit that will change the world.

What would you say to the donors who made this scholarship possible?

Thank you so much for giving your resources to assist those who are working toward a career in professional church work. You have made your love for Christ evident in your support of church workers. I am so honored and humbled to receive this scholarship. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your gift encourages me as I work toward my degree. Please know that you have made a difference in my life, and I am deeply thankful. I will work hard at my studies and put the scholarship to good use. Thank you and God bless you!


 

To create a scholarship fund or make a gift towards an existing scholarship fund, visit this webpage or call 800-365-4172.

Questions? Call 800-365-4172.

InFaith will begin accepting applications for our next round of scholarships in March 2019.