Yuki Beppu is part of the reason I came to work at From the Top. When I saw her perform at a live recording back in October, I remember being slack-jawed at her classical playing. Next, she came to the mic and charmed us all with her tales of wanting to get more classical music on her friends IPods, and then, to my laughing delight, kicked off her shoes and launched into her own composition to Lady Gaga’s “Applause.” As cheesy as it sounds, I remember thinking; “If I take this job, I will be able to help young musicians like this achieve their goals. Yeah, I can do that.”

Fast forward a mere 7 months and I’ve gotten to know Yuki a little better, and continue to believe she is one of the neatest humans I’ve met, a charming combination of joy, talent, humility and confidence that lights up a room, literally.

So, when we posted this video of Yuki “doing her Gaga thing” in her high school lunchroom, I watched with bated breath as the comments came in. To my delight, they were all supportive, but the one that sticks with me is the one that mentioned wishing all teenage girls had the confidence to do what Yuki did. Because, let’s be real, folks. Playing for a national radio audience is one thing, but playing for a roomful of your peers…TEENAGERS, no less…and doing it with the poise and grace Yuki does?

I doubt many of us could pull that off. So, dear readers, I hope you enjoyed the video, and take some comfort; Yuki’s one of many kids I’m meeting who are proving wrong all those who claim the youth of America are a lost cause.

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