MIDDLEBURG - Kurt Eisele has created a high school senior project that's worth more than just a grade.
For some of his peers it may be worth a great concert by Christian rock band Disciple. For others, it may offer something more life-changing.
The Midd-West High School junior booked Disciple for the concert on March 24 in Middleburg because he wants to reach hurting teens with Christ's love.
The Christian rock band Disciple will perform on March 24 at the Middleburg Middle School. Organized by Midd-West High School junior Kurt Eisele, the concert will benefit TheHopeLine.
"I love what (Disciple) does live," said Eisele, who first saw them at the Creation Festival in Mount Union. "They share their faith, but also put on a great show."
He chose Disciple, a hard-edge, award-winning band, because he believes their music appeals to all teenagers, not just Christians.
The concert also will raise awareness about TheHopeLine, an organization that helps young adults who struggle with abuse, drug addictions, self mutilation, depression and other issues.
Eisele said he first heard of TheHopeLine two years ago during a radio broadcast with its founder Dawson McAllister.
At the time, the Richfield teen said he had been thinking and praying about his senior project, and felt God was calling him to do something for struggling teens.
TheHopeLine seemed to fit his focus, so Eisele contacted the ministry about organizing a benefit concert for them.
Dave Anderson, director of rescue at TheHopeLine, was Eisele's contact.
He described the ministry as a team of people working to bring hope to young adults - kind of like a moral GPS.
They operate a call center and chat system where young people can talk to a trained volunteer and receive encouragement and biblical advice, Anderson said.
The organization also partners with national groups and agencies to provide long-term care and services to youth. TheHopeLine is available to teens by calling (800) 394-4673.
Anderson said many people call their organization about helping, but not as many follow through.
Eisele was different.
Anderson said the teen met every challenge of organizing the benefit event.
"He is a resourceful, intelligent, committed individual ... who feels called to help his own generation," Anderson said. "He gives me confidence in young people today."
Eisele said Anderson and others have been supportive; but his project has not been without its challenges.
During the past two years, Eisele organized numerous fundraisers to pay for the concert.
Through a Facebook connection, Eisele said, he met Jonathan Slye who was planning a Christian music festival in Virginia with a big line-up - P.O.D., Emery, Brian "Head" Welch and others. Slye agreed to let Eisele run a fundraiser during the festival.
The situation didn't turn out as they had hoped, though. Eisele said it rained during the whole festival, and attendance was much smaller than expected.
Though he lost money at that festival, Eisele said Slye offered advice and support in other ways.
Today, Eisele looks back at the whole process and believes that "God's come through in some amazing ways."
After paying expenses, Eisele said he probably won't make a lot of money to donate to The HopeLine.
The benefit is important, but so is getting the word out that The HopeLine is there to help, Eisele said.
To give more teens the opportunity to see Disciple and hear about TheHopeLine, Eisele said he tried to keep ticket prices low.
Eisele also has asked businesses to help sponsor the concert by purchasing tickets for teens who cannot afford them. To sponsor tickets, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The concert will begin at 7 p.m. March 24, with doors opening at 6:30, at the Middleburg Middle School. Tickets cost $10, or VIP for $20. VIP tickets were almost sold out Wednesday.
Tickets are available at Friendship Bookstore in Burnham, Guardian Angel Bookstore in Richfield, and Heavenly Surprises in Middleburg; or online at www.itickets.com.
"Tons of doors are opening up," Eisele said. "I do want to continue this."