Thanks to the generosity of over 450 donors, we have raised over $169,000 to make Biola University more affordable for all students. This is the largest amount that has ever been donated online to Biola in a single day. Thank you for your generosity! Keep the momentum going by considering a gift to the Biola Fund, helping keep Biola affordable for all students!
“I was standing on Biola’s campus and laying down all of the lies that I was telling myself — that I was not good enough, not smart enough, that I couldn’t do it.”
Gabriella smiles as she tells the story of her journey to Biola. As a first generation student and the first Christian in her family, her journey to college was not easy. She wrestled with an important question: Could she afford to go a school that would provide her the means to build a career, while also growing in her faith?
About $4,000 stood in the way of Gabriella attending Biola. But to her, $4,000 seemed like an insurmountable obstacle.
"My parents do not have the means to help me pay for college. I spent every day over summer calling financial aid and asking for ways to close the gap.”
Gabriella was planning to save for a car and a laptop for school, but she knew that Biola was her main priority. She pulled together all the money she could, but there was still $2,000 remaining.
"I exhausted all the options that I knew about. I prayed, 'Lord, I have nothing to give. I do not know what to do.’”
Then, two friends unexpectedly provided the final $2,000 that Gabriella needed to complete her tuition payment.
She beamed as she said, “This is the first time in my three years of being a Christian that God has provided in such an extravagant way. I was taken aback by the love of others, which is really the love of Christ through them poured out to me.”
She paused for a moment and added, "There are people who are in my life that He has placed there to support me, even when my family can’t.”
Today is for the first generation students like Gabriella who work hard to be at a place like Biola.
Join us as we seek to make Biola more affordable for every first generation student.
Naveen grew up in a culturally Hindu family and was first introduced to Christianity when he was a freshman in high school.
"There was a friend of mine named Clay. He was a Christian and was serious about his faith. He would share with me about Jesus and he gave me a Bible that I kept with me.”
Despite Clay’s efforts, Naveen began to look elsewhere for meaning and purpose in life.
“During my freshman year of high school, I was pouring myself into different things looking for what would drive me and make me happy. I tried academics, sports, music, friends, relationships, but I didn't feel like I found happiness there. So I tried the party scene and began experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Eventually I began to sell drugs and steal from my parents, but nothing seemed to really satisfy me. This life that I had built for myself began to collapse. I had this yearning in me that said, ‘There needs to be more. There must be something more.’”
Naveen began to fall into a deep depression.
“I felt empty. Hollow. I didn’t have a reason to get up in the morning, to leave my room. I couldn’t see past what I was experiencing in that moment. Nothing was going well anymore and my whole life was a mess. So I decided that I would attempt suicide.That night I took the Bible that Clay had given me, put my hand on it, and prayed to a God that I did not know. I prayed, ‘Jesus, I don’t know if you are real, or if you have anything else for me, but if you are real please save me from this.’”
That night, Naveen overdosed.
Naveen woke up in the ICU the next morning.
“The very first thing I thought about was the prayer that I had prayed the night before. I knew that Jesus was real and that he saved me from myself. I called Clay and asked him to come to see me. We prayed together, and in the hospital I committed to getting to know God and serve him in whatever way that meant."
Clay was a Biola student at the time, and after everything that had happened Naveen decided he would attend there as well. Unfortunately, his first attempt to attend Biola was unsuccessful, as he was unable to raise the necessary funds. Determined, he tried again the next year and enrolled as a music major.
Naveen is still recovering from his past experiences, but he has a passion for ministry.
“Over the past couple of years, God has shown me that I am happiest when I am working full-time in ministry.” He has future aspirations to do cross-cultural ministry.
Today is for students like Naveen, who have come to Biola to heal from past hurts as well as discover their passion. Today, we can help make Biola more affordable and accessible for all students.