Bryan White

Rand Metcalf/The Explorer

The seventh- and eighth-graders at Tortolita Middle School were treated to a small concert from Grammy award-winning country singer Bryan White last week. He also spoke about having and persuing a dream – something each child can do.

He has worked with Shania Twain, Sawyer Brown, Diamond Rio, LeAnn Rimes, and numerous other country singers, and last week, he stopped by Tortolita Middle School.

Bryan White, who has charted 17 singles on the Billboard’s Country Charts, sang & spoke to the seventh & eighth graders at the school. Though most of the time was spent singing and signing autographs for any student that wanted one, White encouraged the kids to surround themselves with good people, set goals, & reach for their dreams.

“Everything in life is going to be a challenge, but there is something that we all have been given. And that’s a dream,” he said to a student-filled gym. “I still have dreams, too. I still have lots of dreams. And I still think they are going to happen. That’s what’s so great about them – you can believe that they can happen. But, you have to believe that they will happen.”

When White was young and growing up in Oklahoma, he had the dream to become a singer and make records. With $500, which was given to him by his family, he took his first steps toward his dream by moving to Nashville, Tenn. 

“I wanted to prove something to the world. I wanted to write songs to make an impact.”

Together, Shania Twain and White sang “From this Moment on,” which went to number four on the Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart. On his own, White has received a Grammy, a CMA Horizon award and an ACM Top Male Vocalist award.

Tortolita Middle School’s Associate Principal Todd Ponder and White have known each other for the past four years. The two met while Ponder was working as a teacher at Rebecca Boone Elementary in Missouri. The two stayed in touch and as Tortolita Middle School is currently making a push to have stronger male roles in the lives of children, they made this unique experience happen for the students at the school.

White did not charge anything for the event, but the school’s student council paid for his air travel.

White, who doesn’t normally speak to large groups of students about his past, felt that talking to the students was a way to give back to those who helped him along his way growing up.

“I remember there were a couple instances when some people came to my school when I was a kid,” White recalled after performance at the school. “Now that I look back on it, I see what they were doing. It’s so important to bring people who have some sort of story or success to some degree to come in and share a little bit about how they got there and their struggles.”

White is hopeful that the kids were, if even in the slightest, encouraged to be a leader and to strive to make changes not only in their lives, but the lives around them.

“It’s fun being able to be in your platform and do something positive, like today,” White said.