I love working with college students because when they put their minds and hearts to something, there is no stopping them! Especially when they catch a glimpse of God’s heart for the world, they can do incredible things. Heejae is a leader in our ministry who has starting a new student group combining her love for music with her heart to serve special needs children. I’m so proud of the work she is doing and pray that God would raise up many more leaders like her from within our ministry. Here’s Heejae’s story:
AMASE (Academy of Music and Art for Special Education) is a Northwestern student group that aims to teach children with special needs (especially autism) how to play musical instruments. AMASE started at NU in 2009 when 7-8 volunteers began providing guitar, piano and cello instruction to students at Parks School, for children with special needs. Starting last year, AMASE was able to bring those students to the NU campus to rehearse on Saturday mornings. We want create a community between the students, volunteers, and students’ parents where the main focus is the love for music! Currently, we have 10 students (ages ranging from 4 to 18) and 25 volunteers. We also are continuing to send 7-8 NU students to Park School to aid the music teacher during her music classes.
Though our sponsoring organization, AMASE in Cupertino, CA was birthed out of weekly prayer meetings, we have not declared ourselves a Christian organization. However, most of our current executive board members are Christians and we have been amazed at how big God’s heart and love is for his children, even if they may have a disability or may be on the spectrum. Even when we doubt the abilities of our students, God continues to humble us as volunteers and continues to show His grace to our students by allowing them to have an amazing time learning music! We had our first concert on December 1 and although our organization is newly established and we have only had the actual ensemble on campus for 2 quarters, we had an audience of nearly 130 parents, students’ relatives, Northwestern students, volunteers’ friends, Park School staff, and Northwestern staff! I have heard countless people tell me that seeing the proud smile on the children’s faces after their performance was so precious!
As President, co-founder, and a volunteer with AMASE for the past 6 years, I can testify that through AMASE, God has shown me miracles where music and this kind of community can heal as well as transform the lives of not only the students but also the volunteers. There is something special in the music that these children create. These children can make music like I have never heard before while playing the piano and cello for 18 years of my life. I believe that through AMASE, these children are given an opportunity to discover their God-given talents for music. God, through AMASE, continues to teach me and amase me about music, life, and these beautiful children every single day.
Heejae is currently a senior at Northwestern and a leader in AAIV, training, mentoring and supporting small group leaders.
For more information about AMASE at NU: Like our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NUAMASE?ref=ts&fref=ts
For more information about AMASE in Cupertino: Visit their homepage: http://amase.us/