Like most folks, I’ve heard “Amazing Grace” many times in my many years on earth but never, ever have I felt so overwhelmed with emotion as when it was sung live by the 2016 PbS Kids Got Talent Contest performer.
And I was not the only in the room to feel that way; tears were being dabbed away from most of the 150 pairs of eyes in the audience.
Sabrina C., a young woman currently in the custody of the Washington Juvenile Rehabilitation’s (JR) Echo Glen Children’s Center, was one of about 120 youths from PbS facilities across the country who sent videos of their talents: singing, dancing, basketball tricks, poetry, rap and more. All entrants knew that one would be selected to perform live at our annual Awards Night but I’m not sure it really sunk in for Sabrina until she and two staff flew across the country and arrived at the Boston Copley Marriott. This was to be her first live performance ever. She was nervous. I would have been terrified.
She decided she did not want to sing the song she submitted to the PbS contest and had practiced before coming to Boston. PbS Coach Aaron McCorkle, our in-house singing talent, was consulted and suggested they sing “Amazing Grace” together. This happened only a couple of hours before the Awards Night was to begin. Their brief rehearsal was the first time my eyes welled with tears.
Sabrina has overcome many challenges in her young life that most kids never have to face, thankfully. Her performance was followed by a long, loud round of applause and standing ovation, showers of praise and words of encouragement. PbS appreciates the JR staff who made her trip possible and we thank Sabrina for sharing her beautiful voice with us. We’ll be listening for more to come.
- Written by Kim Godfrey
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