Hesston College grad to be featured among stars at Biden inauguration

Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 9:35 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - On Wednesday (Jan. 20), Hesston College will watch one of its own alumni on stage, joining the likes of Garth Brooks, Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez at the inauguration for 46th U.S. President Joe Biden. From Hesston College to the nation’s capital for a historic moment, AY Young, from Kansas City, said he’s looking forward to performing on the national stage.

Ahead of his performance, Young gave Eyewitness News a sneak peek at one of the songs he’ll perform. He’s making history as one of the first artists to power concerts with 100 percent renewable energy. He’ll take the stage Wednesday during a virtual event called the Clean Energy for America Inaugural Ball as part of the Biden inauguration.

“I’m super excited like I’m literally doing the inauguration. I mean, the whole day is with great people from Garth Brooks to Lady Gaga,” Young said. “I’m super glad to be playing alongside Train and Akon. I’m actually introducing Akon, and then, of course, my performance will be, you know, powered 100 percent by renewable energy. So I think I’m the only one doing that for the president.”

Becoming a history-making artist is a journey that included a two-year stop at Hesston College where Young earned his degree.

“That fact that I started in this small town in Kansas, to look back on that, it’s like, ‘holy crap,’” Young said. “...It means a lot to me to look back and reflect on where I came from, and Hesston College is one of the most pivotal time periods. Those two years shaped my life.”

Young, whose passion for music led to him competing on the X-Factor TV show in 2012 and earning opportunities to tour with well-known artists, began stepping up more than ever on the global stage last fall when the United Nations announced him as one of 17 “Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals.”

You can learn more about Young, his passion for music, and how he incorporates that into raising awareness about sustainability on his website.

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