Kathy Scherler ('05 Ph.D.) was looking for a way to continue the humanitarian work of her niece, Kelly Beth Cosby, who died at 25 from melanoma. Cosby had worked on the rights of human trafficking victims, and in the spring 2016 issue of The North Texan, Scherler read about an alumna who created an app to report human trafficking.
Scherler contacted Dallas-based Mosaic Family Services, which helped with the app and provides a safe shelter for immigrant women and children who are survivors of domestic violence or human trafficking. For the last two summers, Scherler, an assistant professor of music education at Oklahoma Baptist University, has organized the Oasis Summer Music Camp to provide free music classes to the children at Mosaic with her students' help. The camp was nominated for the 2017 International Music Council Music Rights Award, and Scherler was a quarterfinalist for the 2018 Grammy Music Educator Award.
The children sing, dance, play recorders and learn piano improvisation.
"This last summer one of our young students told me, 'Miss, I was born with music inside of me!'" Scherler says. "Their positive reaction to music as a means of beauty and joy in the midst of their difficult lives is truly inspiring."