The 501c3, nonprofit, Harmonize Community Inc., began first as an idea from then Oklahoma Christian University Freshman, J. Tyler Clark, who wanted to know which Church of Christ-affiliated college had the best Spring Sing event. Tyler persuaded the Student Government Association to put together an exploratory committee to determine if such a show was wanted and if it were possible. With the help of then OC Entrepreneur in Residence, Russ McGuire, Tyler incorporated Harmonize in the state of Texas in December of 2018 with Russ and Marquita Moss as the nonprofit’s first board members. He then hired Elizabeth Baird as his Chief Operating Officer as well as 15 other undergraduate students to put on the Harmony 2019 Event. The team quickly realized if they marketed the show towards high school students, the university admissions departments would give them money to finance their ambitious operations including flying out two students from each participating college to represent their school live and in person. The show garnered 450 viewers worldwide with three youth group broadcasts, three university broadcasts, and two Christian high school broadcasts. The team of students fundraised $500 for a scholarship drawing awarded to a high school senior viewing in Abilene that took his scholarship to Abilene Christian University.
Tyler accepted admission to Pepperdine Caruso School of Law in 2019 with deep gratitude for the opportunity to grow in faith and knowledge but also deep sadness knowing he’d have to lay the Harmony Event to rest to focus on his studies. God had other plans. During a brief catch-up coffee with his Brentwood Christian School, K-12 friend, Addy Hardin, who was then a Junior at Pepperdine, Addy caught the Harmony bug and hired a number of her friends to put on the Harmony 2020 Event. Covid struck three quarters into the Pepperdine team’s planning, but they took it in stride and adapted to an all-online event. They garnered a respectable audience and awarded $2,000 in scholarships to Christian colleges to students from Illinois, Oklahoma, and California.
While most Pepperdine students had moved home for the 2020-21 distanced-learning, school year, Tyler moved to Abilene, TX for his second year of law school to be able to hire a team of undergraduate students there to put on the Harmony 2021 Event. Abilene Christian University Junior Kathryn Crawford took up the mantle, orchestrated a hilarious online show, and gave away $2,500 in scholarships to Christian colleges.
Post law school graduation and Texas bar passage, Tyler began working full-time for Harmonize to help the organization grow and equip churches to promote and provide scholarships for Christian higher education to people in their respective communities.
Learn more about what makes Christian higher education so special and how your church can better retain its youth, share the gospel, and alleviate poverty through a localized scholarship program with Harmonize.