In her youth, Anjali Chudasama ’19 vowed to do something with her life to help others. After considering who had made the biggest impact on her life, she decided to become a teacher.
Her area of specialization was a no-brainer. At age seven, Anjali began accompanying her mother to church choir rehearsals and quickly discovered an innate love for music.
During a high school honors choir weekend, she was introduced to one of the first female music conductors she had ever met. The conductor used a multidisciplinary approach to teaching music, integrating her love of psychology, history, art, and literature.
Not only did Anjali benefit from finding a female role model in a male-dominated field, she also developed a vision for teaching using a similar interdisciplinary approach. In addition to incorporating history, art, and literature, Anjali decided that she would one day also include theology, social justice, and culturally inclusive topics, drawing upon her own personal narrative as the daughter of a father from India and a mother from Ohio.
As a member of the Wheaton College Conservatory, Anjali is studying music education with a focus on voice and earning a license to teach grades K-12. She sings alto in Concert Choir and mezzo-soprano in her opera studies.
Completing the Urban Track of the Wheaton Passage program during her freshman year was a pivotal experience. Anjali fell in love with Chicago’s ethnically diverse Uptown neighborhood and was energized by a service project at Woodlawn’s Living Hope Church.
After completing her education, Anjali plans to teach in an urban environment, helping students to process and express their life experiences through traditional and original music.
“These children don’t have much of a voice,” she says. “I want to help them find their voice by performing music and making it their own.”
Anjali also wants her students to reap the same benefits that she has received from participating in choirs over the years: a sense of belonging, as well as training in self-sacrifice, discipline, and cooperation.
Wheaton’s generous financial aid package, including vital contributions from the Wheaton Fund, was instrumental in helping Anjali make the move from California to the Midwest to attend the only Christian school that met her high standards for rigorous academics and professional musical training.
“God’s providence has made it possible for me to really advance my vocational portfolio through volunteer opportunities,” she says.
Wheaton has also helped deepen her spiritual and prayer life.
“I’ve always known that God loves me and that Christ died for me, but I wasn’t so aware of why I needed it,” she says. “Now that I better understand the reality of my sin I can more fully enter into the reality of God’s grace and my need for it.”