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Sarah Barnhart


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Hi, donors! I'm an aspiring music teacher who is passionate about sharing the arts. Music is essential in my life. I sing in choirs, play the piano, crash cymbals in my college marching band, and act in musical theatre. Through musical experiences, I’ve better managed my anxiety, become more confident, and found my calling for teaching music. Music truly makes me bold. I plan to empower the next generation of students through music. In my classroom, I want to make students feel safe and excited to learn. I will teach crucial social-emotional skills, higher level thinking, and how to balance the stresses of school. Musically, I plan to teach more than just choral music and singing technique. I'll educate students about each piece: its culture, history, message, and emotions. My music classroom will be a place where students can learn both life and musical skills that they can carry for the rest of their lives. I am in my senior year of university working diligently to finish my music education degree. I am also in the School of Honors and currently writing my Honors Thesis. I will have a credit overload for the next two years while I complete my degree, which comes with extra cost. With your help in meeting my financial needs, I'll be able to pour back into the lives of my future students. I'm grateful for your consideration for future scholarships!


Southeastern University

Bachelor's degree program
2019 - 2024
  • Majors:
    • Music Teacher Education
  • GPA:

Virginia High

High School
2015 - 2019
  • GPA:


  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Music Education

    • Dream career goals:

      K-12 Music Teacher

    • Childcare Provider

      2021 – Present3 years
    • Church Music Intern

      First Presbyterian Church Lakeland FL
      2022 – Present2 years
    • Music Theory Teacher's Assistant

      Southeastern University
      2021 – Present3 years
    • Full-time Nanny

      In home childcare
      2020 – 20211 year


    Marching Band Color Guard

    2017 – 20192 years


    • SEU Marching Drumline

      Football Halftime Shows
      2021 – Present
    • WorldStrides OnStage National Youth Choir

      WorldStrides Festival at Carnegie Hall
      2018 – 2019
    • Summer Theatre Program

      Kiss Me, Kate
      2019 – 2019
    • High School Marching Band

      Marching Band
      It's About Time, What's Trending Now
      2017 – 2019
    • High School Theatre

      Annie, Sister Act, Bye Bye Birdie
      2016 – 2018

    Public services

    • Advocacy

      Florida Music Education Association — Advocacy Hill Day Volunteer: I participated in FMEA's Collegiate Advocacy Hill Day Event on March 28th, 2023. I spoke to Florida Senate and House Representatives about their support of bills regarding music education in Florida schools.
      2023 – 2023
    • Volunteering

      First Presbyterian Church — Volunteer Music Teacher: Each Sunday, I serve in the classroom for preschool-age children with disabilities at FPC. I provide a musical experience for the children through musical activities, assisting them in playing instruments, and playing guitar.
      2022 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Summit Church — Preschool Children’s Ministry Volunteer: Two times per month, I care for children ages 2-4 and teach Bible lessons during church services.
      2013 – 2020
    • Volunteering

      High School Choir — Leadership Council Student President: For two years, I lead my choir class in the absence of our director. I directed vocal warmups and helped my peers learn the music.
      2017 – 2019
    • Volunteering

      Summit Church Vacation Bible School — Kindergarten Leader: For one week out of each summer, I was a chaperone for 30+ kindergarteners during VBS activities.
      2014 – 2019

    Future Interests



    Learner Math Lover Scholarship
    Although I am entering the field of education to teach music, I can honestly say that I miss math class more than any other. I would not be the person I am today without my math education. In middle school, I struggled with anxiety and a lack of self-confidence. However, my math teacher, Mrs. D, saw the potential in me and led me to find my self-efficacy. I will always remember the first time I raised my hand in her class to answer a question. Every student in the room was stumped by a particularly complex word problem. However, I worked through the logic independently and found a solution. The room was silent with anticipation. During the long pause, I slipped up my hand, almost hoping that no one would see me. Mrs. D noticed me, and she excitedly called on me to answer. When I answered the question correctly, she took the opportunity to cheer me on and thank me for sharing. At that moment, I felt safe to be myself in her classroom. By the year's end, I was one of the top students in Mrs. D's class and an eager participant. To this day, I continue to keep in touch with Mrs. D and I often look back at my time in math class as part of my inspiration to enter education. My math education improved my decision-making, my self-efficacy, and helped me find my voice.
    Hailey Julia "Jesus Changed my Life" Scholarship
    In the last two years, God gave me a new testimony. Almost every Sunday growing up in the church, I learned that I should always trust God. To trust in Him, I needed to give up control over my life. With anxiety, that is much easier said than done. In high school, my fear was often debilitating. Meanwhile, I went to church regularly, served every other week, and loved Jesus. While I knew so much about God, I didn’t know how to have a relationship with Him. My anxiety made me believe that I would never be able to trust Him with every part of my life. Jesus was always there for me, but I couldn’t maintain our relationship. After high school, I felt the Holy Spirit lead me to Southeastern University. At the time, I thought that going to a Christian school would bring me closer to Him. Each class was a reminder to integrate my faith into my everyday life. However, my mental health only got worse and worse. Moving to an out-of-state school and adjusting to an intense course load was hard on my mental health. My anxiety kept me isolated from connecting with my peers. I certainly wasn’t living for Jesus. I was barely surviving. Deep down, I knew I was still fighting God for control over my life. The pandemic brought me into a season of learning to trust in Jesus. I was sent home from college in March and finished my freshman year at home. My anxiety soared and I ignored God. I pulled back from my home church that I loved. My fears about the virus controlled my life. Once my classes ended, I looked for a nanny job for the summer. I sent messages to more than fifty parents with job postings. Each time, I reminded God that I would get this job if it were the one He had planned for me. Every time I prayed that prayer, I was submitting my fears to Him. After two months of writing messages and meeting parents virtually for interviews, a mom reached out to me with a job offer. At first, the job didn’t seem like a good fit for me. I had more experience with older children, not as much with babies. The job turned out to be just what God had planned for me. I trusted that God would open a door for me and he delivered. On the first day of my new job, a phrase came up in my spirit: don’t go back to school. At first, I was confused. The thought of withdrawing from college was shocking! I loved my university. If I didn’t go back to school for a year, I could lose friends, my roommates, all of my scholarships, and a teaching assistant position. I withdrew from school and felt a weight lifted off of my shoulders. I knew the idea was from the Holy Spirit because I felt peace. I put a lot of faith in God’s plan for me. Staying home for a year was the right decision. As that door closed, another opened: the family I nannied for wanted me to work with them for another year! As time went on, God worked on decreasing my fears of COVID-19 as I developed my relationship with Him. Now, I stay at home and proudly wear my mask out of love for other people instead of fear. I trust that somehow, the world is still in God’s hands. God didn’t heal my mental illness, but he gives me more peace and faith as I walk with Him every day. For the first time, I have a close relationship with my Savior. Thank you, Hailey, for letting me share my new testimony!
    Mental Health Movement Scholarship
    Anxiety controlled my life for eighteen years without me even knowing it. My journey with mental illness began when I was young and worsened as I grew older. In school, I struggled to raise my hand in class even though I knew the answers. When writing a paper, I worried about every word choice. Being absent for a day of high school was more stressful than going. I pushed myself to my breaking point to achieve good grades. I was high functioning in most areas of my life, so no one could see the fear I carried in my heart. I entered college unaware that my mental health was about to collapse. I joined an ambitious music education program at college in Florida. I enrolled in twelve classes and spent many hours studying and singing. After two months of intense singing practice, I developed nodules: a serious vocal injury. I needed to rest my voice completely for three weeks. As a result, my anxiety worsened. I couldn’t meet new people at school or see anyone I knew from back home. I wasn't acting like myself. Although I cared deeply about my grades, I lost interest in my classes. I had to put in extra effort to communicate with others, do schoolwork, and make friends. I entered college mentally unprepared, but I finished my first semester feeling proud for taking that risk. Most importantly, I discovered that I have anxiety and began my mental health journey. Being a student with mental illness is difficult, but it has made me more adaptable to challenges. My journey with anxiety has greatly influenced my future aspirations. As a high school choir teacher, I will have the opportunity to impact young students daily. I’ll share my mental health journey with my students and create a safe space for them to share their struggles. I plan to empower students to get the help they may need and prepare them for life after high school. Because of my mental illness, I am now an advocate for mental health - I am part of the Mental Health Movement!