Shelby County’s Miss Outstanding Teen Ali Mims was overcome with emotion as she watched the joy on the faces of students at the Linda Nolen Learning Center as they played music on floor drums, hand-held Lollipop drums, handbells, and xylophones that she donated to the school on February 18.
The donation of over $1,000 of musical equipment to LNLC was part of Mim’s social impact initiative called “Joyful Noise, Bringing Joy Through Music.” Mims, a Chelsea High School student, raised money for the LNLC project specifically by selling “Make a Joyful Noise” Christmas ornaments. To date, Mims has raised more than $130,000 to help expand awareness of music education and therapy in the special needs community.
Mims shares on her website that the name for the program came from Psalm 100:1-2 which states, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the Earth. Serve the Lord with gladness. Come into His presence with singing.”
Mims said she believes there is no better way to connect with and encourage people than through the power of music.
“Music is a universal language. speaking to individuals of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. It has the ability to ignite emotions, connect people, and foster healing,” Mims writes on her website. “This is especially true for the special needs community and for those with disabilities. As someone who struggles with anxiety, I have seen the beneficial effects of music therapy in my own life. Through my program, Joyful Noise, I encourage people to come together through music and to benefit from its healing with no concerns about perfection or their level of skill.”
Mims hopes to partner with the Alabama Department of Education to incorporate music education with music therapy in all schools, including 76% of schools in rural areas that currently do not offer music education.
Mims will compete for the title of Miss Alabama Outstanding Teen on March 5-6. The Miss Outstanding Teen competition is part of the Miss America Organization, which awards scholarships to contestants to further their education.