Big Dreams: Sheldon Steele’s Grad School Fund

I’m Sheldon Steele and my 23rd Birthday was Wednesday, December 9, 2020! For my birthday this year I am seeking your support to raise $30,000 to complete my Grad School studies in Arts Management & Executive Leadership at Rider University.  Watch the video below to hear what I’m trying to do and be sure to click “Read More” just below the video.


If you’re able to donate, click “Donate” on the right of this page, or consider using any of the alternative Donation Methods below. 

- Venmo: @SheldonSteele
- CashApp: @$SheldonSteele
- PayPal: steelesh@ rider.edu
- Check: Send an email to receive mailing info

AND!  Make sure to CLICK HERE TO —> REGISTER FOR MY VIRTUAL BENEFIT CONCERT so that we can celebrate together on January 9th @ 6:30pm!



- MY STORY: (Text transcript from the video above ) 

I’m Sheldon Steele and my 23rd Birthday was Wednesday, December 9, 2020! For my birthday this year I am seeking your support. (Posted on December 9) 

After graduating with my Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Musical Theatre from Rider University in the Spring of 2019, I was met with a year of tremendous breakthrough and success. I moved to NYC, booked my first Equity show, participated in my first NYC reading, and booked the Dreamgirls International Tour that took me all across the continent of Asia. As an artist, I have been afforded unimaginable opportunities, and for that I have been so grateful. However, I have always known that I have more to offer the world than just the creation of the craft. I longed to further my purpose and hopefully leave an impression on others the way my mentors and educators did so for me.

 2020 has been a year of uncertainty, change, and for most of us, some degree of loss or discomfort to say the least - yet, even in the midst of a Global Pandemic, I thank God for the opportunity to grow, evolve, and press on in my purpose.

I took this time as an opportunity to work toward my Master’s Degree in Arts Management & Executive Leadership at Rider University! That being said, with the loans and financial aid I have - I still need to raise 30,000 to cover my tuition and living expenses to complete my graduate studies. 


- ABOUT THE EVENT: 

In an effort to raise this money - I am putting on a Virtual Benefit Concert - Saturday, January 9, 2021 - Show starts at 6:30PM est. Join me at - Big Dreams: A Virtual Benefit Concert to Support my Grad School Fund! 

Over the next 30 days I need to raise $30,000!  With your donations and support in sharing my story we will help make this dream possible. 

It will be an intimate space for me to share my testimony, creative expression, and a good time with you. I will be debuting original music from my first official solo project, which is a culmination of all my work over the past 10 years - starting with the first song that I wrote when I was 13. The concert will also feature some of songs that have shaped my career, special guests, and a few other surprises. To offer some insight into who I am, why I am, and the journey thus far, I have attached a transcript of my Aim Statement below, the written essay that got me into Grad School - from that, you’ll get to know more about me, where I have been, my dreams, and the vision I have for the future. I pray that some part of my story touches you and inspires you to sew a seed of love into my life. 
 
I am a product of the love and generosity of people who saw something in me before I knew what the “something” was. I have Faith in God, Faith in Community, and Faith in the love and generosity of those who want to see me succeed. No gift is too small or too large, and if you have the desire to give, but don’t necessarily have the means, your generosity would be just as appreciated by simply sharing this post and my story with others. 

It takes a team to build a dream. I look forward to seeing you on Saturday January 9, 2021 @ 6PM when the virtual doors open - Show starts at 6:30PM est.


THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE AND SUPPORT! 


- Sheldon Steele 

 


- ALTERNATIVE DONATION METHODS:
- Venmo: @SheldonSteele
- CashApp: @$SheldonSteele
- PayPal: steelesh@ rider.edu
- Check: Send an email to receive mailing info





- My Aim Statement - “The Call to Lead” dated July, 2020


“For I know the plans I have in mind for you, declared the Lord; they are plans to prosper, not fail, to give you a future filled with hope.”

​- Jeremiah 29:11 CEB - 

These very words are the foundation of my life that have carried me to today. A day where I am making the conscious decision to tap into the next dimension of my purpose and calling; graduate studies. After graduating with my Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Musical Theatre from Rider University in the Spring of 2019, I was met with a year of tremendous breakthrough and success. I booked my first Equity show, participated in my first NYC professional reading, and booked the Dreamgirls International Tour that took me all across the continent of Asia. As an artist, I have been afforded unimaginable opportunities, and for that I have been so grateful. However, I have always known that I have more to offer the world than just the creation of the craft. I longed to further my purpose and hopefully leave an impression on others the way my mentors and educators did so for me. 

I was always drawn toward the craft of teaching and stewardship. The teacher’s ability to create an atmosphere that fostered intellectual breakthrough in the lives of their students was a gift that sparked a lightbulb in my young mind. Being a man of faith, these qualities and sentiment are parallel to those of a pastor or spiritual leader, quintessential occupations that I also admire. I started taking on leadership roles as early as the 5th grade, as a Peer-Mediator, aiding in conflict resolution at the elementary school level. This propelled me, a young Gifted Studies scholar, to take on various leadership roles throughout middle school and high school. I found immense joy in the act of giving another person an opportunity that may not have otherwise been afforded to them. Rather than being dismissed, I wanted them to feel heard, to feel amplified. To feel seen.

It was my time in high school at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts that changed my entire perspective on life. It was a great privilege to obtain a quality arts education led by educators who further reinforced what it meant to speak life into a young artist. My high school career provided me with the necessary security and sense of self-worth that led me to serve as a Choir Section Leader and Music Director in a variety of settings. By the age of 18, I was overseeing 3 choirs, 2 churches, and a studio of private clients who I taught outside of my garage with the first piano that was gifted to me. With the support of God, my beautiful family, and the mentors who pushed me towards my purpose, I was able to graduate 7th in my class with a GPA of 4.5.

My desire to learn beyond what was expected of me continued as I enrolled at Rider University in the fall of 2016 to attain my Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Musical Theatre. I immediately held a position on the board of the Multicultural Student Leadership Institute, under the stewardship of Dr. Pamela Pruitt. I also held a cabinet position on the Student Government Association during my Freshman Year. In addition to my BFA, I was studying my Bachelor of Music in Music Directing, and completed a year and half of study. 

While I was given a plethora of opportunities to perform on the stage, the true highlight of my undergraduate career was my sophomore year when I launched a Mentorship Program with the Trenton Central High School Arts Department. It was there that, under the supervision of Resident Director Joshua Duncan, I led a team of 10 Rider students that mentored and built relationships with Trenton Central High Drama Department students. The team and I were able to gather the students’ stories and produce a show for the them to put on. I had the humbling opportunity to music direct and oversee this production. I was able to inspire these students, these gifted individuals who may not have otherwise come out of their shell, by igniting the confidence and sense of self-worth that I was gifted with in my time in high school. The feeling you get when a child’s eyes light up with joy and belief in themself, is incomparable to any other feeling. I will cherish those moments for the rest of my life and reference them to inform my work going forward. 

God put me on this Earth with the purpose to serve the greater good. He has given me gifts and talents that I will continue to exercise with dignity, purpose, and love. My plan for the MA Arts Management and Executive Leadership program is to hone and sharpen these skills to grow as leader and obtain the necessary knowledge to establish a concrete career in the entertainment industry. With my extensive performance background, I want to utilize my talents and experiences to help those in the field shape their lives through purpose driven growth and strategic forward momentum.

I look forward to the journey that God has in store for me. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. 

Best, 
Sheldon Steele

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Donations

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  • DJ Edward Brumfield Handlin 
    • 50 $ 
    • 3 d
  • Michele Russo 
    • 100 $ 
    • 8 d
  • Joline Andrade 
    • 25 $ 
    • 12 d
  • Sheilah Walker 
    • 50 $ 
    • 13 d
  • Ray Rokicki Jr. 
    • 50 $ 
    • 14 d
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Fundraising team (3)

Sheldon Steele 
Organizer
Raised 1,332 $ from 27 donations
Trenton, NJ
Kacy OBrien 
Team member
Raised 2,051 $ from 17 donations
Elizabeth Murphy 
Team member
Raised 200 $ from 3 donations
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