Jai’len Josey, a 15-year-old student at Tri Cities High School in Fulton County, was named best actress at the National High School Musical Theater Awards on Monday night in New York.
The prize for the rising 11th-grader’s victory: a check for $10,000 to further her education and a full scholarship to Carnegie Mellon University’s six-week, pre-college drama program. Josey also will be eligible for a four-year scholarship to attend the NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ New Studio on Broadway (contingent upon acceptance into the program).
Josey’s honor, bestowed during a ceremony at Broadway‘s Minskoff Theatre, follows her April best actress win at the 2014 Shuler Hensley Awards (also known as the Georgia High School Musical Theater Awards) at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. That victory catapulted her into the national competition.
Cobb Energy's ArtsBridge Foundation paid for Josey's entry fee and New York travel expenses and sent along a chaperone. Josey also raised $3,405 from 39 backers on a crowd-funding site for the trip, on which she was joined by her mother.
Fellow Tri Cities student Rubin Barksdale won the Shuler Hensley Award for best actor, but in the national competition (also known as the Jimmy Awards), it was Chicagoan Jonah Rawitz who snared the best actor statue.
Josey and Barksdale also got to have lunch with Hensley the day of their New York arrival.
This just in: WSB/Channel 2 will air a two-hour special on the Shuler Hensley Awards at 8 p.m. Aug. 16.