Hannah Till isn’t the kind of girl who sits back and hopes opportunities come knocking on her door. The 17-year-old Visions In Education Home School Academy student works hard, is dedicated and only stops at perfection. Till is first in her class, gets straight A’s, is an excellent harp player, plays soccer and even knows karate. The senior just graduated and applied for 11 scholarships to help her defer college costs. She received seven of them! We sat down with Hannah Till and her mother, Jodi to learn a little more about her accomplishments and what she calls, “an amazing experience” at Visions.
Talk to me about playing the harp, I heard you are an excellent musician. You have even played at some Visions events?
Yes I have. I have been playing since I was 10-years old and the piano since I was 8-years-old. I had a great harp teacher here. I volunteer a lot, play with an orchestra and I have even done recordings.
What kind of reaction do you get from people when you play the harp? Mom, what do people say and do when they hear your daughter’s music?
(Jody) People are normally in awe when they hear her. The room gets quiet and people are relaxed. It is beautiful. We let her pursue harp because everyone plays the piano and we wanted her to be able to do something different. She even earned enough money to pay for a nice harp (listen to a performance, here).
How much does a good harp cost?
The one we purchased was a few years old and it was $21,000. It is really expensive. I had to do a lot of babysitting, chicken sitting and other odd jobs. I wrote all about that in one of my essay submissions for the college scholarship.
What do you want to do when you grow up?
I want to compose my own songs, study and make music. I really like to rewrite old hymns. I have written a lot of melodies, but it takes a lot of time to do that. I want to continue to volunteer, I want to perform at weddings and other events. I also want to teach harp and provide opportunities to other for kids who can’t afford instruments.
You are a 2014 Visions graduate! What is next?
I am going to Bob Jones University in South Carolina. It is a Christian college and my brother is already there. I am really excited about Bob Jones. It was my dream to be able to go there. I am excited to learn from another harp teacher, too. At the college there are only 17 other harpists so they push for you to do well.
You applied for college scholarships and were able to snag seven of them? Which ones are they?
I wasn’t even expecting to get seven! I filled out 11 and thought maybe I would only get one. They are:
- BJU Founder’s Grant – $2,500/yr
- BJU Scholarship – $2,500/yr
- BJU Academic Excellence and Leadership Award – $2,000/yr
- Demonstrated Need Scholarship Fund – $1,700
- APIASF/Wells Fargo Scholarship – $2,500
- Akademos Scholarship – $500
- Woman’s Thursday Club Scholarship – $1,000
That is amazing. Your mom must be proud and thankful you guys have help paying for school.
(Jodi) We were actually planning on her not going to Bob Jones because it was just going to be too expensive, especially with her brother already at BJU. We were trying to figure out another avenue. We thought maybe she could do two years at American River College and then go to BJU, but then the scholarships came along and helped.
Talk to me about your experience with Visions as a Home School Academy student. (Hannah) A lot of people think that home school kids are secluded kids, but I have a lot of friends. I was able to play on the San Juan High School soccer team and I do a lot of volunteering. So I am very involved in my community. I really enjoyed Visions. It allows you to choose your own curriculum, you don’t have to stay in one place for school and you get extra money for different activities. I was able to do karate, take pottery classes and rock-climbing. I would never have been able to do that or the time to pursue harp had I not gone to school here. (Jodi) The charter system really helped our kids excel. It helped also because my husband and I were both able to have part-time jobs and home school. We wanted them to be well-rounded kids, with music, sports and academics. Visions helped with that.