Name: Graham Higton
From: Santa Ana, CALIFORNIA
School: Orange County School of the Arts
The Art of a Single an
Interaction. The basis of community service comes from the
interaction and feel that you get when doing the act. It’s the very
feeling that I get when I have the chance to meet the people that I
am volunteering for. I believe the best way to explain how my
community service has affected me is to look back one of the most
impacting moments for me. For most of my community service, I had the
opportunity to perform at elderly homes around southern California.
When I first started to volunteer I never really thought of it as
anything. Not exactly what most people would think of doing on their
free time, but as I became more involved I learned how my performance
truly affected them. It gave them enriching flashbacks and the chance
to interact with each other in something they all can relate too.
This being said I had the chance to perform at an Elderly home in
Pomona California and through my school, they had specially asked if
they could have a tap dancer. Not something most would request, but I
was called upon and made the drive out there to meet and perform.
When I walked through the door I saw hundreds of people crowding into
a small little ballroom. The excitement on their faces took me over,
and I suddenly became engulfed in their excitement. When I came to
the side of the stage and overheard a couple right next to the side
of the stage talking. One explained to the other that she hasn’t seen
someone tap dance since she saw Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra perform
in a small nightclub in New York City. At that moment I knew that I
was among some of the United States Greatest Generation. I walked on
stage and “The best is yet to come” by Frank Sinatra started to
play and I suddenly felt the energy of 100 plus people on me. It was
so beautiful that when I got off stage I wasn’t sure what just had
happened to me. After the performance, I had the chance to come out
and meet the people I had just performed in. The amount of laughter
and joy I saw in these people faces brought so much love to my heart.
I realized that sometimes the smallest performance can bring people
from all backgrounds together. I had men and women come up to me in
tears explaining how the song that I performed too got them through
so much in life and that this performance has brought back so many
amazing memories. This experience was one of many. The chance to talk
with history is what has inspired me to keep volunteering myself.
Over the last 6 years, I have done over 460 performances and have met
over 2000 people. It has been the most fulfilling thing I have ever
done and know that it will carry with me into the future.
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