San Diego entrepreneur and philanthropist David Malcolm, the sponsor of the David Malcolm Scholarship, is pleased to announce Amara Anyanwu as a 2022 scholarship recipient.
Anyanwu currently attends Rice University and recently completed her freshman year. She will start her sophomore year this fall semester with a 3.81 GPA.
"I have learned that I can get through anything life throws at me as long as I have a creative outlet to help me put the pieces back together," Anyanwu writes in her scholarship essay.
As Orchestra President, she "found solace" through her love for music and playing the violin after her father passed away during her freshman year. Her escape and healing through songs like Meditation from Thais, which she composed for a successful solo competition, led her to found Symphonies for Seniors, a program centered around sharing the gift of music with nursing home residents.
Her program was inspired by her father's experience in a nursing home recovering from a brain injury. A harpist would come and play at the nursing home, and Anyanwu's father would call her and her mother so they could listen together. Anyanwu reflected on how much music meant to her father during his rehabilitation and became motivated to grant fellow orchestra members the same opportunity to bring joy to nursing home residents by sharing their musical talents.
When the pandemic restricted visitors from entering nursing homes, Anyanwu turned to virtual avenues to continue her program and the uplifting impact it had on audience members on the other side of the screen. She molded her program into a virtual volunteering opportunity for orchestra students across her school district.
Now entering her second year at Rice University, Anyanwu is a member of the Campanile Orchestra and has introduced her Symphonies for Seniors program to her fellow Rice musicians through a collaboration with Rice Music MDs. Next year, she will be the External Vice President of Rice Music MDs.
In addition to these efforts, Anyanwu is a research assistant at the Biobehavioral Mechanisms in Disparities Lab. There, she continues to follow her musical passion by studying the effects of music on brain health in elderly adults.
"There is something special about music that I can't quite put my finger on, but I know that it is something that I want to do for the rest of my life," wrote Anyanwu.
The David Malcolm Scholarship will help provide Anyanwu with financial relief for her academic pursuits, enabling her to pursue her career as a clinical psychologist striving to work with dementia patients and continue to pursue music therapy research.
"Funding higher education is an investment in the future of our great country, which is why after receiving a record number of scholarship applications this year, my wife and I are thrilled to have Amara as one of our two recipients. Her leadership and passion for her community struck a strong chord and so clearly emulated the mission of the David Malcolm Scholarship and our greater philanthropic work," said Malcolm.
About David Malcolm
David Malcolm is a San Diego-based entrepreneur, real estate expert, and community leader. Having a long and successful career in real estate, he knows the importance of giving back. Among his various philanthropic endeavors, he is most passionate about helping the homeless get their lives back on track. He and his wife Annie also support two San Diego gymnasiums and other charitable non-profits.