Two more Presidential Scholars for NWSA

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Image of presidential scholar winners 2018.Earning two of the twenty U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts this year, New World School of the Arts once again brings home to Miami the coveted honor, representing its distinguished theater program. The Scholars, Ishmael Gonzalez and Elena Gonzalez, will have the opportunity to invite a professor from NWSA to join them as they travel to Washington D.C. to receive their recognition at the White House. The Presidential Scholar award presented on behalf of the President of the United States is one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students and symbolically honors all graduating high school seniors of high potential.

“This is the 2nd time in three years that the Theater division has been honored with two students receiving the Presidential Scholar Award in Music Theater from Young Arts,” said NWSA Dean of Theater, Patrice Bailey. It is truly a testament to training offered in the division, to the teaching level offered by our faculty and to the commitment Ishmael and Elena have demonstrated to their craft during their four years at New World School of the Arts.  I could not be prouder of these incredible students!”

Ishmael Gonzalez, a senior at New World School of the Arts planning to continue his artistic path and training at North Carolina School of the Arts, credits much of his success to the overall climate of the school, his peers and the resources offered at NWSA, “The students at new world have made a huge impact on me. Hearing and working with other students have opened my eyes to numerous possibilities. This school has also provided amazing resources like studios, accompanists and teachers that have helped me easily produce my work. The many connections I have received from this school have also helped me further my knowledge and experience in theater.”

As he nears graduation, Ishmael recognizes the importance of paving the way for his younger peers and offers heartfelt advice: “I would say to go into the process full heartedly. Don’t even think about the prize but focus on the work and craft. People want to see the purest form of someone’s work and I believe that is what helped me. Of course, there was the subconscious thought that I was applying to a competition, but I went in giving my all and myself.”

Added to the notable list of US Presidential Scholar in the Arts awards received by New World School of the Arts students, this recognition is bestowed upon a handful of promising students in the nation each year. For the institution that forms and nurtures them, the reward comes in the form of prestige and distinction. Including the 2016 scholars, New World School of the Arts has been honored with 22 Presidential Scholar in the Arts awards since 1988, seven of which have been from the Theater Division at NWSA.

The distinguished history of the New World School of the Arts began in 1984 when the Florida State Legislature established the institution to provide artistically talented high school and college students the means to achieve both an academic education and artistic training. In September 1986, NWSA opened its doors to students in grades ten through twelve. NWSA’s audition-based programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art, Dance, Music and Theater. NWSA offers the high school diploma as well as a four-year BFA or BM college degree.

The theater division at NWSA is dedicated to training exceptionally talented and committed students to pursue careers in the theater. The program concentrates on the actor’s training, delving into fundamentals of physical and emotional preparation, and the achievement of truthfulness and expressive power on the stage. Areas on concentration include acting and musical theater.

New World School of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts. It is an educational partnership between Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida.