Note: Today’s blog is an interview with another one of our summer interns, Graham. Graham is a wizard at free-style rapping.  If 5 people share this blog via Facebook or Twitter, we’ll post a video of him demonstrating his skills. 

Jason: Who are you, my ask?

Graham: My name is Graham Colton, and I’m a rising junior at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.  I am majoring in English and Philosophy. 

J: Why are you here?

G: I’m here because I take pleasure in helping those whom others don’t want to help.  I have a heart for the preterite.  I believe that today’s achievement-oriented culture fosters an unsustainable self-interestedness, so much so that we’ve forgotten that humanity will ultimately flourish when it learns not to receive, but to give.  I often remind myself to slow down and be mindful of the moment.  To appreciate all that’s been given me, and to consider those who, as fate would have it, happened to be born to a vastly different household, in terms of both socioeconomic status and family dynamics.  Then I try to give them opportunities that I’ve had and will continue to have because I was born where they weren’t.

J: How did you find out about us?

G: I owe my time at Gateway this summer to many people, but principally to Dr. Howard Pickett, Adjunct Instructor of Shepherd Poverty and soon-to-be director of the Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability at W&L. I’m at Gateway by way of the Shepherd Internship Program, an extension of the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP).

J: Where are you from?

G: I grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where the corn is tall and the Amish are antiquated.  No, I’m not Amish, and no, I didn’t live on a farm.


Cool, as always.

J: What are your thoughts so far on homelessness in Atlanta?

G: Eradicating homelessness in Atlanta is daunting, but why shouldn’t we try?

J: Want to shed some light on any special talents?

G: I am an amateur freestyle rapper.  I began spitting rhymes in elementary school to entertain my peers on the bus.  Since then, it’s been my favorite hobby.  I rap to get everything off my chest, so to speak.

J: Thank you so much, Graham! It’s so good to have you here with us.

Update: Graham is now using his rapping talent for the greater good.  He is hosting a workshop with clients who want practice and encouragement in the rhyming arts.


Last year over 4,400 unique persons stayed at Gateway Center in their journey towards self-sufficiency and out of homelessness.  $10 provides meals for a day for one of these men, women, and children. Every dollar counts.  Make a donation today.