Celebrating Biola Women Breaking New Ground During National Women's History Month

Mar. 16, 2010 By Jenna Bartlo

Thousands of Biola women make an impact on the world for the Lord Jesus Christ through their leadership, service and dedication each day. March marks the celebration of National Women’s History Month and for Biola, it’s a chance to celebrate women who continue the legacy of one of Biola’s first leading ladies, Anna Horton.

Horton, affectionately referred to as “Mother Horton,” was the wife of Biola founder T.C. Horton. She paved a path of leadership and influence beginning in 1907 when she was asked to teach a Bible class for the young women who worked at the Fifth Street department store in downtown Los Angeles, owned by Mrs. D.H. Steele. The women’s Bible class was the start of a ministry, eventually called “Lyceum Eteri,” that carried on for three quarters of a century, impacting the lives of many around the world.

Since Horton, thousands of Biola women have graduated, continued Horton’s path of leadership and are now breaking ground in fields such as art studies, ministry and athletics. Similar to how Horton originally saw a need for a place of fellowship amongst women and created “Lyceum Eteri,” alumna Charlene Melhorn (‘03) saw a need for arts education and a way to care for families and children coping with broken families and poverty in Philadelphia.

Melhorn is Artist-in-Residence and Director of Artology for BuildaBridge, a non-profit arts education and intervention organization primarily serving families and children healing from trauma and provide hope for those coping with homelessness in Philadelphia. She created and developed Artology, an interdisciplinary art and science summer learning program that utilizes Philadelphia’s neighborhoods, parks and museums as a vibrant interactive classroom.

Through Artology, Melhorn has impacted hundreds of children and many families. Now in its fourth year, the art and biology creative program continues to train young leaders to study the world with mind, body and soul as an integrated experience. Each year returning participants and new children come excited and ready to learn new skills to develop healthy methods of learning.

Rosalinda Vint (‘03) was on the path her alcoholic mother had lived after growing up in the foster care system and enduring emotional, physical and sexual abuse in her life. However, her final move in the foster care system was to a Christian home, where she came to know Jesus.

Today, Vint runs “Women of  Substance, Men of Honor,” a ministry that reaches out to incarcerated youth and emancipated foster children. After graduating from Biola’s BOLD program, she felt called to reach out to others and decided to teach others what she knew through the form of prison ministry – a ministry she had been encouraged to participate in before she attended Biola.

Today, “Women of Substance, Men of Honor” offers classes and transitional support for pre-and post-paroled youth as well as those exiting the foster system. Vint gives youth the second chance that her foster family, through the love of Jesus, gave her. Vint has made great strides in her life to be the influence she is today on others.

Junior Natasha Miller is making her own strides that are greatly impacting the world of athletics in track and field, as shown through her dedication and skill during her three years as an Eagle. Recently, she surpassed her own national record at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships, extending her reign as the women's pentathlon champion.

Miller, a junior, dominated the 15 finalist field en route to her 3,992 point total. Miller's overall total bettered the point record she set last year (3,943), while she also improved on the national mark in the pentathlon high jump with her jump of 5-10 3/4.

Also showing dedication to athletics is junior April Smith who made school history on the final day of the 2010 NAIA Swimming and Diving Championships, winning the 200-yard breaststroke to become Biola’s first swimming national champion, closing out the final day with a splash on Saturday, March 6.

Biola women continue the legacy of pioneer Anna Horton, reaching out to other women, children and men impacting the world for the Lord Jesus Christ one day and opportunity at a time, teaching and being taught through their experiences.

Biola continues to honor Women's History Month through "Pearls in Process", a series of events celebrating the creativity of women. The next event, the 3rd annual Ruby Slippers ceremony will be held on Thursday, March 25, 2010, at 7 p.m. in Sutherland Auditorium.

 

Written by Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Coordinator. Jenna can be reached at (562) 777-4061 or through email at jenna.l.bartlo@biola.edu.

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