In the workshop, which took place in the O’Neill Community center and the O’Neill High School gymnasium, The Young Americans taught these students, in grades three through twelve, a one-hour singing, dancing and acting show. These students not only learned an unbelievable show, they found their voices, learned to dance and act, learned teamwork, respect and a love of all things fine arts. They had the chance to be themselves and express themselves with the support and encouragement of The Young Americans and their peers. Most importantly, these young people learned self-confidence and self-worth and gained forty new friends and mentors.
“The Young Americans have a way of reaching each and every student. They make them feel important, independent, and proud of their talents and accomplishments. Nobody else offers a learning and performing experience like this workshop,” says Mr. Jaques, the vocal music instructor at O’Neill High School.
Participating students and their families also had the opportunity to take Young Americans into their homes for three nights, becoming surrogate families for very grateful and respectful guests.
After two days of hard work and play, the students and their talented teachers took the stage for a two-hour Broadway caliber song and dance performance. The first forty-five minutes featured The Young Americans in a high-powered performance as a gift to the students and the audience. The second act featured all of the students along with The Young Americans performing the show they had learned in only two days. They performed music from across the decades, movies, hip hop, classical choral music, and finally music from the hit musical, The Lion King.
The concert concluded with a gift of a gold record plaque and a donation of $1090 to the music department from The Young Americans.
The Young Americans left O’Neill on Wednesday as our friends, heroes, teachers, and new family members. Thank you Young Americans. We’ll miss you!
“May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face. May the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.” – Irish Blessing