2021 Scholarship Winners

Grace Kelly Scholarships

College

Margaret Hammond, winner of the Grace Kelly Scholarship 2021

Margaret Hammond

Nuview Bridge Early College High School
Troupe 8117
Nuevo, CA

Even though my time in high school got cut short, one thing I’m glad I got to focus on, even during quarantine, has been expanding my own knowledge in the world of design and technology. I’ve picked up a lot of niche skills, especially in costume crafts fields like distressing, dyeing and painting, EVA foam armor, and I’ve done tons of research on my own to become a better designer. I know that the way I design and my interests within the field will change and grow, and I am secure in the fact that whichever way I take my career I will be 100% committed to it.

Natalie Lawton winner of the Grace Kelly Scholarship

Natalie Lawton

Redmond Proficiency Academy
Troupe 7715
Redmond, OR

I joined my department on a whim because I was scared of my director and wanted to challenge myself. My director always says “go before you’re ready” and so I did. It was the best decision I ever made. I have learned more and grown more as a person in the last four years than I ever have. I have made lifelong friends and experienced lifelong lessons. Above all, I have gained such a love for theatre and everything that goes into making a show come to life.

Grace Sorenson winner of the Grace Kelly Scholarship

Grace Sorensen

Redmond Proficiency Academy
Troupe 7715
Redmond, OR

As a first-generation college student [and] the only one of my siblings to formally graduate high school . . . this scholarship is a huge help in supporting my academic and professional career. I plan to put on workshops and intensives in low-income areas across the nation to help kids without the resources they deserve to have opportunities they may be missing otherwise. I truly cannot express my gratitude on a deep enough level to convey how much this means to me.

Pardanya Subramanyan winner of the Grace Kelly Scholarship

Pradanya Subramanyan

Clements High School
Troupe 3689
Sugar Land, TX

I began developing an interest in theatre and stage management in 8th grade. Since then, I continued on my journey as an artist facing a challenge that will never stop being a challenge-understanding my identity as an Asian American woman in the arts. From a young age, I was told that “it isn’t the done thing” or “brown women do not belong in the industry”. The only way to move forward was to have a thick skin and continue working.

Trysten Williams winner of the Grace Kelly Scholarship

Trysten Williams

George Washington Carver Magnet
Troup 6753
Houston, TX

My parents taught me how to work hard for what I want in life because nothing is ever guaranteed and that there is never anything that I can’t do. This also gave me the mentality to never give up on my dreams because if someone really wants something they are going to do whatever in their grind to do it and that person is me. I am a true renaissance man at heart so I plan to indulge in all areas of the arts. I want to leave a legacy that will show I was never afraid to follow ALL of my dreams.

Grace Kelly Scholarships

Training

Laila Carter winner of the Grace Kelly Scholarship

Laila Carter

North Oconee High School
Troupe 7047
Bogart, GA

The singing and dancing aspects of theatre have always come more naturally to me, but acting has been more challenging. I tend to be my biggest critic, and my fear of messing up and not being perfect has sometimes kept me from expressing and embodying a character to its fullest potential. It has taken a lot of work with my teachers to help me get over these fears, and truly embrace my acting potential!

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Dane Lackey

Marble Falls High School
Troupe 3701
Marble Falls, TX

Emma Stellmach winner of the Grace Kelly Training Scholarship

Emma Stellmach

Brownsburg High School
Troupe 2108
Brownsburg, IN

Without a mentor specifically for this art form, I became dedicated to researching equipment and programs that interested me and would progress the world of sound design and engineering for my high school's theatre department. Being the first at my school to do this kind of research with such detail and drive meant that I also had to take the time to present the new possibilities to my directors and explain how my ideas could benefit the theatre department and performances as a whole, not just individually.

Vellandi, winner of the Grace Kelly Scholarship

Jacki Vellandi

Orange County School of the Arts
Troupe 6826
Santa Ana, CA

The Grace Kelly Scholarship will be a tremendous gift toward writing classes. But in order to truly be able to shed light on so many untold stories, I want to further develop my writing and then be able to bring my stories to life via my acting. I believe that the arts hold so much power to inspire and change the world, and I would use this scholarship to increase my chances of making that impact.

Caroline Yim winner of the Grace Kelly Scholarship

Caroline Yim

Juanita High School
Troup 3422
Kirkland, WA

I think one of my best decisions ever was putting down Technical Theatre as one of my electives. It wasn't even my first elective choice, but a backup one. When I got my electives, Technical Theatre was my yearlong elective. At the time, I didn't know that this elective was going to be one of my favorite classes.

Amy Bennett Scholarship

Grace Sorenson winner of the Grace Kelly Scholarship

Grace Sorensen

Redmond Proficiency Academy
Troupe 7715
Redmond, OR

Growing up my family was always low-income and still is so I’ve never been able to afford any formal training of any kind. This being a big challenge in such a competitive field. I’ve relied solely on the public school system in Choir, Band, and Theatre classes to get me where I am now. I’m a first generation college student relying on scholarships for tuition entering my freshman year at a Big 10 school, The University of Oklahoma.

Kenny D. Hasija Scholarship

Sarah Long, winner of the 2021 Kenny D Hasija Scholarship

Sarah Long

Bridgeland High School
Troupe 8503
Cypress, TX

The lack of diversity in this industry hinders different perspectives from being shared. Diversity brings richness to all art forms and sheds light on marginalized experiences. Going to see a show should be a stimulating experience, but without diversity, it doesn’t challenge or broaden anyone’s worldview.

Trinity Joseph, winner of the 2021 Kenny D Hasija Scholarship

Trinity Joseph

Patapsco High School and
Center for the Arts
Troupe 2891
Dundalk, MD

By bringing in authentic voices it allows people of color to take control of their own narrative. It allows them to tell their stories for themselves and give visibility to their communities. These bonafide voices help people who aren’t from these communities learn, understand, and hopefully relate on some level.

Imani Okwuosa, winner of the 2021 Kenny D Hasija Scholarship

Imani Okwuosa

Heritage High School
Troupe 4048
Conyers, GA

As a Black girl growing up in the mid- 2000s, I remember being in love with most of the female characters I grew up watching on television. I had just started to fall in love with acting and had dreams of being on the big screen one day. But it wasn’t until I got older that I started to realize that the main characters never really looked like me. I felt like, no matter how much I loved to watch her conquer on the screen, I could never aspire to be her.

Christopher L. Hunt Scholarship

Madison-Crick-Christopher-Hunt-Scholarship

Madison Crick

O’Connor High School
Troupe 5872
Helotes, TX

Theatre has truly shaped my life and my personality. It has brought me out of my shell and out of my comfort zone, which is really what I needed to allow me to reach my full potential. From the moment I realized I was going to take theatre, to my first lead role, to my last high school play, my talent and skill has only grown, thanks to the arts programs.

Melba Day Henning Scholarship

Audrey Burgoon, winner of the Melba Day Henning Scholarship

Audrey Burgoon

Salina Central High School
Troupe 639
Salina, KS

I am studying theatre education to help students advocate for themselves, learn to love learning, and find themselves through the arts. I believe theatre education is not just about teaching students to become actors but giving them the skills to succeed in life. Education, to me, can be considered “The Great Equalizer.”

Michael Peitz Leadership Scholarship

Nazarene Campodonico, winner of the Michael Peitz Leadership Scholarship

Nazarene Campodonico

Salem High School
Troupe 5120
Conyers, GA

Life is about working with others and being a team player. There is no greater life lesson than the lesson that we must be able to understand one another. This is a lesson that each and every Thespian learns at some point in their theatre career.

EdTA Board of Directors Scholarship

Charlotte Perez, winner of the Edta Board of Directors Scholarship

Charlotte Perez

Bowling Green High School
Troupe 1489
Bowling Green, OH

Theatre offers an extracurricular experience that fosters creative pursuits, working experience, and (at least in my case) gaining lifelong friendships. As the job market continues to get more competitive, companies continue to look for creative thinkers. I feel that my experience in theatre and the arts has fostered a well- rounded education to prepare me in many job fields, prepare me for hard work, and fostered my creative thinking.

EdTA Presidents' Scholarship

Jeyna Gonzales, winner of the Edta Presidents Scholarship

Jeyna Lynn Gonzales

J. R. Arnold High School
Troupe 6371
Panama City Beach, FL

Representation was important to me before I could even put a name to it. As I come into adulthood and prepare to enter the entertainment industry, I have had to fight the doubt saying I will not be successful due to a system that was not built for people like me. Rather, I must have faith that my journey will pave the way, making it easier for others in the future.

EdTA Presidents' Scholarship

Rosanna Gao, winner of the EdTA Presidents Scholarships

Rosanna Gao

William A. Shine – Great Neck
South High School
Troupe 7486
Great Neck, NY

Working with the cast, crew, orchestra members, teachers, and directors illustrate teamwork and how we all work together to accomplish a goal. Overall, being a Thespian has allowed me to emote and connect with an audience, which is a fundamental of human development. Without communication and connecting with people, we would not be able to unite together.