Herb Alpert Foundation Awards $315,000 in Scholarships to 21 Outstanding High School Students from the California State Summer School For The Arts (CSSSA)

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Annual Scholarship Program demonstrates long term commitment to CSSSA’s highly motivated and talented students, paving the way for successful futures.

(L-R) 2015 Herb Alpert Emerging Young Artists $40,000 scholarship recipients. 
2015 Herb Alpert Emerging Young Artists $2,500 scholarship recipients. Photo by Andre Daughtry.

(L-R) 2015 Herb Alpert Emerging Young Artists $40,000 scholarship recipients. 2015 Herb Alpert Emerging Young Artists $2,500 scholarship recipients. Photo by Andre Daughtry.

I have been given a chance. A gift. A blessing. A lucky break. So believe me when I tell you how serious I am when I say I am going to try and do something with my life.

The Herb Alpert Foundation and the California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA) are pleased to announce the 2015 recipients of the annual Herb Alpert Scholarships for Emerging Young Artists. The Herb Alpert Foundation annually provides 21 scholarships for CSSSA students in seven disciplines: animation, creative writing, dance, film, music, theatre and visual arts. This visionary, long-term support from The Herb Alpert Foundation has provided over $3 million in college scholarship funding to date, fostering the creative spirit of these talented youth, and empowering them to grow and become vital members of their community.

The top-performing student in each arts discipline is awarded $40,000 over the course of four years to complete university-level study. Additional one-time awards of $2,500 are awarded to two high-achieving students from each of the seven disciplines. This comprises a grand total of $315,000 in scholarships awarded to CSSSA students for 2015 alone.

(Photo Caption)
2015 Herb Alpert Emerging Young Artists $40,000 scholarship recipients (L to R):
Victor Hernandez, Music; Valor Aguilar, Visual Arts; Ingrid Audette, Creative Writing; Dustin Whitley, Animation; Olivia Werby, Film; Hector Jaime, Dance; Grace Dolezal-Ng, Theater.

2015 Herb Alpert Emerging Young Artists $2,500 scholarship recipients (L to R):
Front Row: Luna Garcia, Creative Writing; Kathryn Li, Animation; Gabrielle Delforge, Animation; Gabrielle Gorman, Film; Alisha Syed, Film; Ceylene Hebron, Visual Arts; Michelle Li, Visual Arts
Back Row: Kira Kamrath for Creative Writing; Roman Sanchez for Theater; Anthony Ahn Doan for Theater; Sydney Rae Leong for Dance; Nathan Jauregui for Dance; Gabriel Seymour for Music; David Semon for Music

Beyond the commitment to the college scholarships, The Herb Alpert Foundation also provides an annual gift of $30,000 to CSSSA to support low-income, financial need scholarships. Established as a unique public-private partnership, the CSSSA Foundation ensures that no qualified student is denied access to CSSSA due to financial hardship. By opening the doors to youth through generous partners like the Herb Alpert Foundation, access and opportunity are provided for students that would otherwise not have the opportunity to attend the powerful and transformative CSSSA summer program. Once at CSSSA, they gain the possibility of being awarded one of these prestigious, life-changing college scholarships.

CSSSA is a four-week, intensive pre-college program for talented and motivated high school students in the arts, held on the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) campus in Valencia. CSSSA has an annual student body of over 500 young artists from California and an additional 20 students admitted from other states and countries. Approximately 40% of students receive financial aid to attend the summer arts program. CSSSA offers a unique opportunity for students to spend one month immersed in a creative laboratory experiencing the inspiring and rigorous daily life of a professional artist.

Michael Fields, Director of CSSSA says, “The students who are chosen to receive scholarships are not only artists, but they are also innovators. They have the skill and the vision to change the world with their talent. Thanks to the Herb Alpert Foundation partnering with CSSSA, together, we provide the platform that sets them up for a successful lifetime in the arts.”

“The intent of these scholarships,” says Rona Sebastian, President of the Herb Alpert Foundation, “is to recognize young artists who have emerged in the CSSSA program by acknowledging them with additional scholarship funding so they can continue to explore their unique talent at a college or conservatory.”

As a launching pad from high school to college, the CSSSA program offers graduates three units of California State University course credit and names them “California Arts Scholars” which distinguishes CSSSA graduates from their peers as they proceed to college and an arts career. CSSSA Alumni have access to additional college scholarships at affiliate institutions through the CSSSA Foundation Bridge to College program.

Valor Aguilar, one of the 2015 Emerging Young Artists in Visual Arts stated, “I have been given a chance. A gift. A blessing. A lucky break. So believe me when I tell you how serious I am when I say I am going to try and do something with my life. I appreciate this leap of faith, and I appreciate everyone who ever helped, encouraged, or mentored me. I will not take this for granted. I will continue to work hard. You will never doubt your decision to invest in me.”

Applications will be available for CSSSA Summer 2016 beginning December 2015 at http://www.csssa.org. For more information on Bridge to College, college scholarships or to donate, visit csssaf.org

Click here for statements about the 2015 CSSSA Emerging Young Artists.

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David Escobar-Cambay
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