Elite Lawyer

Spring 2023 Elite Lawyer Scholarship Winner

Amara Anyanwu

Amara Anyanwu

The essay Amara shares is heartfelt and inspiring. She founded a program that puts on musical performances for nursing home residents. Today, Amara is a member of Rice University's Campanile Orchestra and continues to share her passion for music by bringing joy to others through her program.

Read Amara's Essay:

As Orchestra President, I founded Symphonies for Seniors, a program that shares the gift of music with nursing home residents. My father spent a lot of time in nursing homes, recovering from the effects of a brain injury, and whenever the harpist came to play, he would call my mother and me so we could listen with him. I knew how much the music meant to him, so after his passing, I wanted to start a program that would give our orchestra members the opportunity to provide that same kind of joy.

During the pandemic, I have expanded Symphonies for Seniors and made it a virtual volunteering opportunity for orchestra students district wide. The seniors are not allowed family visits, so our videos bring comfort and joy to them during difficult times. Our performances are now enjoyed by tens of thousands of nursing home residents in 25 states and Canada. It is wonderful to be able to give back to my community by sharing the things I love.

The most rewarding part of being a musician is being able to share my art with others. I am now a student at Rice University, and I am a member of the Campanile Orchestra. This year, as External Vice President of Rice Music MDs, I have introduced Symphonies for Seniors to Rice musicians to give them the opportunity to share their love of music. We play for patients in hopsitals and nursing homes near campus. I am so grateful to be able to connect with seniors in person again. This year, we played at Nora's Home, a place for organ transplant patients to stay near the Houston Medical Center at a low cost, for the first time. I look forward to continuing our relationship with Nora's Home. I am also planning to establish biweekly performances at Texas Childrens' Hospital. I am excited to continue to spread light and joy to patients in the Houston community.

I am also a research assistant at the Biobehavioral Mechanisms in Disparities Lab, which studies the effects of music creativity on brain health in older adults and individuals with mild cognitive impairment. I am learning how to give psychological assessments and have had the opportunity to interact with the patients. I currently recruit and screen patients for study eligibility and organize psychological and health data for analysis. In this lab, I have been able to personally see the patients light up with joy as they take the music classes and express themselves through art. It is truly beautiful.

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