Street Singer On A Mission

Written by: By Richard Castillo

Cariel CoatesIf you take a walk down to Farragut Square in D.C., you might hear the voice of an angel. Coincidentally this angel happens to attend Washington Adventist University for Clinical Psychology and is using her voice to support her studies and spread a message of faith.


Cariel Coates felt led to the D.C. region with a mind to follow her dreams and make a difference in the world. A pastor’s kid, born in Antigua and Barbuda; Cariel found that she was inspired by her father’s example and life in the church. This experience led her to a calling for taking on leadership in ministry. She had a chance to flex her ministry muscle once she eventually landed in Puerto Rico. 


Leading souls to Jesus gave Cariel a greater appreciation for where God wanted her to be. She began to sense where God was leading, and despite many friendly skeptics, she chose to be brave and take a walk on God’s path.


Cariel soon found that God not only wanted her to follow where he was leading, He would be a strict instructor as well. Her journey to find residence in the U.S. went through many trials, closed doors, and harsh rejections. But through each obstacle, it seemed that God had the answers, and Cariel truly began to sense that she was being trained and asked to grow in specific ways. She felt prodded to open herself to the help of others, and through many generous souls, she was able to advance where others might have faltered. “I learned to overcome and get back up,” she smiled.


As Cariel journeyed on, she continued to push where God wanted her to go; especially in music. She found a way to get her hands on a sound system, a mic stand, and a laptop. She then decided to take her talent to the street. She was noticed by reporters at Georgia Washington University and eventually came to the attention of WJLA ABC 7 in D.C.  A story about her plight as an immigrant making her way through college by singing for the generosity of passersby (also known as “busking”) was a story that caught many people’s attention. Cariel appears all at once to be a driven, independent, professional woman and with her voice she makes the walking commuters of D.C. stop in their tracks and take notice.  


“God is showing me what it is to be faithful behind closed doors so that he can bless me when I’m out in the open,” she said.  Cariel wants to make a difference for others as she shares her experience and inspires faith growth in those she comes in contact with.


WAU’s campus has benefited from Cariel’s caring heart as she has used her bilingual talent to tutor students in the English department. She loved helping students practice their new language, and eventually, by her interaction, she has become a mentor. 


There should be no doubt that Cariel is on track to be a powerful tool in God’s tool belt. Her voice, presence, and heart are already making waves on a broad basis. As she continues to be led, there is no doubt that she will lead hearts to be changed; changed in Jesus’ name.  


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