Camelback: Joseph Grant Gave His Wish Away to His High School in The Form of a New Shade Structure with Outdoor Seating

Posted by Communications on 3/29/2017

Make-A-Wish Arizona wanted to grant Camelback student Joseph Grant a wish, but Joseph had another idea.  He gave his wish away to his high school in the form of a new shade structure with outdoor seating.  Joseph presented his wish, called “Joseph’s Hangout,” to his fellow students, March 24 at two assemblies.


Joseph, who has a life-threatening heart condition that required a transplant, has been working on his wish for more than two years, deciding how to leave his legacy to a school that has been amazingly supportive during his illness.  He approached then-principal Dr. Quintin Boyce, and with the help of the school, District facilities personnel, and local builders, the wish came true, with construction taking place during spring break.


McCarthy Construction, SunShades Arizona donated a large percentage of the wish, in one of the largest undertakings this year for Make-A-Wish Arizona.


“I first hooked up with Make-A-Wish my sophomore year, and when they wanted to know what my wish was.   I wanted to hold off, and then I said, let’s do something for my school,” Grant said.   “There are a lot of kids here, and they like to congregate outside the cafeteria, and there was no place to sit, and a space like this was very much needed.”


“They wanted to call it Joseph’s Corner, but Hangout sounded better.  It has a ring to it.  I like the way it sounds,” he said.


Joseph worked with the companies, and the school to create a plan and color scheme that complements the school colors-orange and blue.

Joseph’s gift did come with some anxiety.  The seating area replaced the bell tower.  During the assembly he was a little defensive.  He hoped students wouldn’t remember him as “Oh no, that’s the bell tower kid,” he said.


But on the plaque that will designate the space, his true message is recorded: Selflessness is all the heart needs.


Twenty-four Camelback students performed with GRAMMY Nominated Country Recording Artist Eric Church, March 28, during his tour stop at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix.    Church is a strong supporter of public music education and he’s inviting a high school choir local to each tour stop to join him.


The GRAMMY Foundation contacted band director Jaime Johnston, who had been nominated by the organization a few years ago as a music instructor of the year.  


The students, selected from members of the performing arts department- band, choir, and guitar   arrived at the arena at  4p.m., had a dress rehearsal with Church on stage to figure out exactly what they had to do in the performance.   They had a catered dinner and enjoyed the back stage experience and a dressing room just for them.


 They performed the opening song, "A mistress named music".


“I am so excited for these thriving performing arts students to experience a once in a lifetime opportunity. They got to see behind the scenes and the inner workings of a touring, award winning musician,” Johnston said.