Chasing Dreams You Didn't Know You Had
When I was 5, I entered my first talent show. I loved to sing, and saw no reason to not enter my grade school talent show (even thought I was only in Kindergarten). I got on stage in front of the entire school and sang the ever-so-popular children’s song, “Mr. Sun”. I didn’t realize it then, but this was an important moment in my, one that actually defined many of my latter years. I continued to sing anywhere and everywhere that I could through my adolescent years; karaoke, family nights at local bars and restaurants, and more. Many years, and many blank cassette tapes later, I learned what it meant to truly have a passion for something. I came from a single parent home. My mom worked long hours, and multiple jobs just to make ends meet. Extracurricular activities that weren’t funded by the public school system, were unfortunately something that seemed unattainable for me, so as badly as I wanted to take music lessons, I didn’t want to burden my mom with adding more financial responsibility to her plate. I know if I had asked she would have bent over backwards to make it happen, but I never did.
Around the age of 15, my best friend’s mother introduced me to a relatively new local music program, who luckily for me, provided scholarship opportunities to cover lesson fees. I remember walking into the building, meeting some of the instructors and students, and having a voice scream out to me, “this is where you need to be.” So I gathered the registration paperwork, the scholarship application, and my excitement, and took them home. I began voice lessons the very next week.
This was another one of those moments that you don’t realize define you until much later in life. I was a student of the Infinity Performing Arts Program (now the Infinity Visual and Performing Arts Center) from 2002-2008. During this time, I was given opportunities that the 5-year old me could have only dreamed of. I performed on stages at the Center, in the community, at local and regional events, County and regional fairs, and even the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I was given the opportunity to work on two studio-recorded albums, one alongside members of the 10,000 Maniacs. I made friendships that are still in tact to this day, and I created memories that will last a lifetime.
I give back to Infinity because they gave me more than I could have ever hoped for. They gave life to a dream that I didn’t realize I had. They gave motivation to a young woman who wasn’t sure which direction to head. They instilled self-confidence, positive values, community mindedness, and goal setting into a teenager who could have been doing a number of things with her spare time. They gave me a friendly, welcoming home surrounded by positive adult mentors to hone my skills and express my creativity.
For these things I will be forever grateful, and for these reasons I will continue to give to Infinity’s scholarship fund for as long as I can. I give because I hope to provide the same things for another child who may not have otherwise had the chance to participate in a program as empowering as Infinity.
Review from #MyGivingStory
Infinity is a wonderful program that offers high quality, affordable music instruction to any interested student. In addition to lessons, students are able to join performance ensembles and attend unique musical workshops. Infinity is an amazing place for children.