Africa in Maine

by Forest Sprague

I was 12 when I helped unite the cultures of Maine and Uganda to expand a school in that African country. My home, Portland, Maine, has a growing community of African immigrants.  My family organized a benefit concert in Portland with performances by a Ugandan youth choir. The singers spent a week in Maine and I was responsible for helping them adjust to the state. I also set up arts and crafts tables at the concert while watching the arrival of more than 1,000 eager members of the audience. A standing ovation celebrated the melodic tunes. The smiling faces of the performers and the crowd united the room. We earned $2,000 that night. I have carried the lessons and skills I acquired in the concert into several community service efforts. This concert became a fundraising model for the supporters of the school. The choir used some of the funds raised to finance on fundraising concert in New York. The additional wings have been added to the school, which serves orphans in Uganda.

Forest Sprague, who was home schooled, is a freshman at Pace University.