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Makariah Gaddis (Right) dropped by last week to see her former favorite teacher, Miss Leonor, at Youth Believing in Change After School Care program on Stuts Road in Lake Highlands, where Makariah spent many hours volunteering. She Credits "Miss Leonor" with teaching her Spanish, one of the three languages Makariah speaks. Trilingual, Makariah also plays three instruments: Piano, Violin and guitar and is graduating in June from the renowned Booker T. Washington School for the Arts.

Talented Musician, Volunteer, Tri-Lingual A+ Student headed for New York

Makariah Angel Gaddis was a tiny baby but she’s grown up in a big, beautiful way.

Born almost two months premature, she was five pounds, three ounces, and spent the first three days of her life in the hospital, gaining weight and strength, while her mother and father prayed for her.

She’ll graduate from the elite Booker T. Washington School for the Arts on June 5, where she not only sings and dances, but speaks in three languages: Spanish, Italian, and English. She also understands a bit of French and Portuguese. She says she learned her Spanish skills from “Miss Leonor” of Youth believing in Change, the after school and summer camp program she’s been attending for years. Miss Leonor has been teaching in the program for more than a decade.

To say Makariah is a Renaissance woman would be an understatement.

She began reading at the age of three and became a Christian at age four. At Booker T, she’s a member of the school’s National Honor Society (NHS), National Science Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, LULAC, Mariachi Dance group, Gospel Choir, Black Student Union, Fellowship of Christian Artists, “Green Bean Environmental Club” and Tibet Club.

If it sounds like she doesn’t have any time to attend classes or study, you’d be wrong. As she headed into her Final Exams, she was sporting a 4.1 GPA.

In addition to all her school activities, she is an active volunteer in the Dallas community and a member of the Youth Believing in Change ministry, run by Pastor Vincent Gaddis—her father.

Her mother, Angela Gaddis, leads the youth choir. YBC’s choir has performed at the Fort Worth Convention Center before an audience of nearly ten thousand, at Children’s Medical Center, as well as many local nursing homes and retirement villages.

Makariah can sing, dance, and play guitar, but it’s the latter she plans to focus on both in college at The New School in New York and then in a career. Makariah played her guitar for a delighted audience of over 260 last month at the annual YBC “Evening of Change” dinner at Highland Park Presbyterian Church, along with a group of musician friends from her school.

She enjoyed her years learning Point and dancing in the Mariachi troupe, but now concentrates on her guitar play. Accepted at all the colleges she applied to, including Azusa Pacific in California and Berkelee School of Music in Boston. The New School is where she wants to continue her education, and the school has offered her a partial scholarship. Makariah hopes to raise more funds this summer, possibly by playing her guitar. Her hope is to be a successful musician, playing songs she creates, and teaching others about music in a collegiate setting, probably  in Europe, where she’s travelled before.

When she’s not practicing four hours a day you might catch her working with the children in the YBC summer camp program. YBC focuses on community outreach and teaches the importance of leadership, respect, responsibility, and integrity. Makariah has grown up in the program, becoming a natural leader to the younger students following in her footsteps. After all, she jump-started her life arriving early as a tiny baby and grew up to have a powerful voice both on stage and in her community. Her parents prayed for her, and now she prays for others like her, those who need strength and guidance.

Makariah Gaddis may have been a tiny baby, but she’s got a big, bright, beautiful future ahead of her.


Makariah will be playing for friends and family at the Biblical Arts Center, 7500 Park Lane, Dallas, TX 75225 on June 24, 2017, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

To contact her about the recital or to hire her to perform

For more info.


on Youth Believing in Change, see the website: or the Ybc dallas Facebook page.

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