Vincent Legacy Scholarship

The application period for 2020 scholarships has closed.

Since 2006, Starlight has proudly awarded Vincent Legacy Scholarships to qualified and deserving middle school students throughout metropolitan Kansas City.

The need-based Vincent Legacy Scholarship was established with a generous contribution from former Starlight board member and longtime Starlight supporters Greg and Rebecca Reid. The scholarship provides ethnically diverse youth in metropolitan Kansas City the opportunity to pursue professional training in the performing arts.

To qualify, students in grades 6, 7 and 8 must display talent and passion for the performing arts; be nominated by a current instructor; have strong grades, attendance and interest in community service; and audition for Starlight’s scholarship committee.

Each $2,500 Vincent Legacy Scholarship is administered by the Starlight Education Department, and funds are applied to the scholarship recipients’ performing arts training during their middle and high school years. 

For more information, contact

Vincent Legacy Scholarships are generously supported by Greg & Rebecca Reid, Becky Blades & Cary Phillips and Royals Charities.

2019 Scholarship Winners - Breana Smith, Blessing Ogedengbe,
Jordan Pettiford & Brielle Jefferson

Breana Smith
Pioneer Ridge Middle School
Independence, MO

A highly motivated and accomplished student, Breana participates in honor choir, speech and debate, National Junior Honor Society, and also demonstrates her leadership abilities as Student Council president. As a performer, Breana frequently takes part in school plays and studio classes and has enhanced her training as a Starlight STAR.

Blessing Ogedengbe
University Academy
Kansas City, MO

Blessing is driven to perform, singing regularly with her church choir and closely studying the careers of her favorite Nollywood and Bollywood actors. Aspiring to be a professional actress and singer one day, Blessing is described by her teacher as "a stand-out individual who will impress everyone she meets."

Jordan Pettiford
Ewing Marion Kauffman School
Kansas City, MO

Jordan has danced competitively since age 5 and works tirelessly to improve her skills while also being an outstanding student academically. She is known for her natural stage presence, commitment to excellence and her drive to help others succeed, including younger students at her dance studio. Jordan’s teachers describe her dedication to performing as “nothing short of remarkable.”
Brielle Jefferson
Arrowhead Middle School
Kansas City, KS

Brielle excels academically and challenges herself by participating in a wide variety of activities including playing sports, painting and performing. In addition to being a model student, Brielle’s teachers describe her as “a truly engaging and naturally talented performer” who loves to make others laugh.

2018 Scholarship Winners - Natalia Castaneda, Tahraji Milsap, James Hawkins &
Erica Brown

Natalia Castaneda
Congress Middle School
Kansas City, MO

Natalia is recognized as a talented performer and natural leader. She has already shared her vocal talents with many people, singing the national anthem at Royals and T-Bones games, boxing matches (she boxes, too!) and at special events in the Park Hill School District. Natalia excels in mixed choir, band and talent shows.


Tahraji Milsap
Ewing Marion Kauffman School
Kansas City, MO

A multi-talented performer and excellent student, Tahraji  has been writing and singing her own songs since age 10. She has also worked hard to improve her dance skills with Alvin Ailey training and her acting skills by performing with the Legacy Foundation during the summer. She hopes to pursue a career in the arts.

James Hawkins
D.D. Eisenhower Middle School
Kansas City, KS

James caught the “acting bug” when he attended his first Disney on Ice show at age 4. Since then, he has participated in school choir, band and musicals and was selected as the first and only sixth-grade member of the Voices of Change Youth Choir in Kansas City, KS. He aspires to be a professional actor and singer on Broadway.
Erica Brown
Grandview Middle School
Grandview, MO

Erica’s love of singing and performing made her stand out in the competition for a Vincent Legacy Scholarship. She has been singing at home, school and church since a very young age. Erica landed the lead role in Annie Jr. at her school, entertains fellow students on Talent Tuesdays, and is an active participant in all of her classes. She aspires to be an arts instructor.

2017 Scholarship Winners - Carwin Cooper, Lauren Howard & Bianka Morgan

Carwin Cooper
Arrowhead Middle School
Kansas City, KS

Carwin’s love of acting made him an ideal choice for a Vincent Legacy Scholarship. He has performed in several school productions and also plays in the school band. In addition to being a talented performer, he is an excellent student and a good friend to classmates. Kansas City audiences got to enjoy Carwin’s acting talents in spring 2017 when he played the role of Travis in the Kansas City Rep’s production of A Raisin in the Sun.

Lauren Howard
Bernard Campbell Middle School
Lee’s Summit, MO

Lauren is a very talented singer, confident young lady and a hard worker. She has sung in school talent shows, school and church youth choirs, and school plays. Lauren also plays alto and baritone saxophone, ukulele and is learning the keyboard. At Eagle Creek Church, she leads her peers in worship music. Lauren has big goals for her future and hopes to attend college at Juilliard in New York someday.

Bianka Morgan
Kansas City Academy
Kansas City, MO

Bianka loves to sing and act. In addition to being a talented performer, she’s also a highly motivated and energetic student. Bianka is quick to learn scripts, memorize choreography and collaborate with fellow students as they work through complex and creative ideas. She performs in school plays, sings at church and weddings and even stars in a YouTube series of short films created with her sister Jo. She plans to use her scholarship to pursue her passion for singing and acting.

2016 Scholarship Winners - Faith Andrews-ONeal-Julu & Nahrya Williams

Faith Andrews-ONeal-Julu
St. Paul’s Episcopal Day School
Kansas City, MO

Faith is a very talented young lady, dedicated student and hard worker. Her dedication and passion for dancing made her an ideal choice for a Vincent Legacy Scholarship. She has been dancing for 12 years and enjoys everything from ballet and tap, to jazz, Irish step and hip hop. Faith has performed in school musicals and sings in school and church choirs. She is active in community service, serving as a counselor-in-training at her school. Faith wants to use her scholarship for additional dance training and to explore singing and acting.
Nahrya Williams
Raytown Middle School
Raytown, MO

“A major voice in the choir” is how Nahrya was described by her director in the Kansas City Girls Choir, with which she has performed for the past five years. In addition to performing as a soloist in musicals at school and church, she also has a passion for creating original music and lyrics. To serve the community, Nahrya has sung for nursing home residents and volunteered at a marathon. She intends to use her scholarship funds to further develop her vocal skills.

2015 Scholarship Winners - Sophia Mesa, Nia Phillips, Angel Duong,
T’Khara Jones & KhaTera Jones

Sophia Mesa
Eastgate Middle School
Kansas City, MO

Sophia’s love of singing and acting made her an ideal choice for a Vincent Legacy Scholarship. At age 11, Sophia began to play the guitar, and in middle school, she took her first voice lessons. While a student at Eastgate Middle School, she performed in honor choir, participated in drama club and had the lead role in the school musical. Sophia wants to use her scholarship for training that will help her reach her full potential in musical theatre.
Nia Phillips
Raymore-Peculiar East Middle Schoool
Raymore, MO

Nia is on her way to being a triple-threat performer, excelling in singing, dancing and acting. Her choir director said Nia is an excellent student, amazing citizen and is always hungry for more instruction. She has trained in dance for 10 years and especially enjoys jazz, tap, hip hop, ballet, modern and lyrical dance. In middle school, she participated in choir and forensics and landed the lead role in the school musical.
Angel Duong
Grain Valley South Middle School
Grain Valley, MO

Angel's focus on both academics and performance makes her a role model for younger students and performers. She has trained in dance for the past 10 years, winning many awards, while also being involved in her school’s choir and musical theatre programs. Angel also finds time to mentor younger dancers, teaching them new dance techniques and moves. She plans to use her scholarship funds to further develop her acting skills.
T'Khara Jones
Arrowhead Middle School
Kansas City, KS

T’Khara is part of a first for the Vincent Legacy Scholarship program. She and younger sister KhaTera are the first sister-duo to win a scholarship in the program’s 10 years. T’Khara is highly involved and interested in the arts. She’s participated in school plays and musicals since a very young age and was a member of the All City Children’s Chorus. She also is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and performs community service.
KhaTera Jones
Arrowhead Middle School
Kansas City, KS

KhaTera was a member of the All City Children’s Chorus. She has particular interest in dance and even choreographs her own dance routines with her sister, T’Khara. She joined her school’s debate team and is also active in its theatre program. KhaTera is eager to use her scholarship to train in a professional dance studio.

2014 Scholarship Winners - Katy Werner, Zachery Garner & Amari Lewis 

Katy Werner
Olathe, KS

Katy is dedicated to dance. Watching a performance of The Nutcracker when she was just 5 years old got Katy hooked on performance, and she loves studying ballet, tap, jazz and hip hop. Katy also enjoys spending time with her mother and five younger siblings. Starlight is very pleased to work with Katy and her mother to continue her dance training and begin private voice lessons. 
Zachery Garner
Arrowhead Middle School
Kansas City, KS

Zachery’s enthusiastic interest in acting and puppetry made him an ideal choice for a Vincent Legacy Scholarship. He has acted in plays at school and church, sang in church choirs, and even interned with Paul Mesner Puppets. His drama teacher said Zachery is a born performer and the student he looked to whenever he needed an actor to step into the spotlight. Starlight is thrilled to work with Zachery and his parents to provide training that will advance his acting abilities.
Amari Lewis
Arrowhead Middle School
Kansas City, KS

Amari will enter seventh grade in August 2014, and she’s already a veteran of the stage. She has performed in several Lyric Opera productions and also shares her talents with the less fortunate by singing to nursing home residents during the holidays. Amari’s theatre teacher said she is “uniquely teachable and has the sensibility of an actress.” Starlight is proud to work with Amari and her parents to provide advanced vocal training. 

2013 Scholarship Winners - Paukhansuan Sonna, Destane Jackson & A'Rya Pratt

Paukhansuan Sonna
Arrowhead Middle School
Kansas City, KS

Paukhansuan has performed in church plays and also acts and edits school movies. He is currently involved in the UMKC Bridges program, where he plays his instrument of choice – the cello. In addition, he makes films with his friends and is a gifted writer who has won contests for his writing. In the future, Suan sees himself in show business or even in cinematography.
Destane Jackson
Moreland Ridge Middle School
Blue Springs, MO

Destane has a passion for singing, dancing and acting. She has experience performing in numerous school musicals, her church and school choirs, and dancing, acting and singing at The Coterie. She also has special skills in drawing. According to Destane, she loves being a role model for her younger brothers and cousins whom she sees daily.
A'Rya Pratt
Hogan Preparatory Academy
Kansas City, MO

A’Rya is an honor roll student, a leader on her school’s debate team and a praise dancer at her church. She has loved to act and dance ever since she was a young child and began auditioning for modeling and acting programs at the age of 5. At the age of 7, she auditioned for the Disney Channel. Even though she didn’t make the cut, she didn’t give up. A’Rya has also participated in the Starlight on Site program.

2012 Scholarship Winners - Destané Doughty, Nakia Hanley & Akia White

Destané Doughty 
Overland Trail Middle School 
Overland Park, KS 

Destané has enjoyed training at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy and Kansas City Ballet. Tap, jazz and modern are areas of training that she enjoys, but she has also spent time learning aerial and acrobatic contortion at Quixotic Fusion. Destané also plays the viola in her school’s Orchestra. She loves to volunteer time helping children with special needs learn how to dance.
Nakia Hanley 
Summit Lakes Middle School 
Lee's Summit, MO

Nakia is a dancer who hopes to one day run a non-profit performing arts studio for underprivileged youth which emphasizes dance instruction. She has trained at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and is a Praise Dancer at her church. Nakia remains active in her school choir, school musicals, and is an honor roll student.
Akia White
Arrowhead Middle School
Kansas City, KS

Akia is an actress who has set her sights on acting as a profession one day. She is active in her school’s theatre department, participating in plays as well as Debate. Akia also enjoys volunteering her time as part of her church’s youth mission.

2011 Scholarship Winners - Cydnee Thornton & Ansonia Serrano

Cydnee Thornton 
Grain Valley South Middle School 
Grain Valley, MO 

Cydnee excels in academics, forensics, music and acting. During her time at Grain Valley South, she has been active in the school’s fall musicals, forensics team, honor choir and band. She was cast in the lead role of the school’s fall 2010 production of School House Rock Live! Jr..
Ansonia Serrano
Grain Valley South Middle School 
Grain Valley, MO

Ansonia is an honor roll student and member of her school’s honor choir, band and competitive forensics team. She also appeared in School House Rock Live! Jr.In addition to her love of acting and singing, Ansonia has a talent and passion for writing, particularly song lyrics.

2010 Scholarship Winners - Faith Miller & Alexandra Hairston

Faith Miller
Maranatha Academy
Shawnee, KS 

Faith is an "A" student, who excels in her school's choir and is active in school musicals and church plays. During her audition at Starlight, Faith "sang with passion and strength, demonstrating that her singing voice is full and mature beyond her years." Faith volunteers at Lenexa Christian Center, often helping with pre-school activities and chruch special events.
Alexandra 'Lexie' Hairston
Overland Trail Middle School
Overland Park, KS

Lexie's school record, keen interest in singing, dancing and acting made her an ideal choice for our scholarship. In her school production of Oklahoma! she excelled in her roles as Armina and a featured dancer. Lexie also volunteers at Hope House and her church and hopes to one day teach children about the importance of the arts.

2009 Scholarship Winners - Erica Bess & Kalen Allen

Erica Bess
Urban Community Leadership Academy
Kansas City, Missouri

Erica is an actress who loves to embrace her onstage characters. According to her forensics coach, "Erica appears very quiet and somewhat shy, but give her a script and you will see the magic of the theatre open up right before your eyes." Erica will be using her scholarship funds to procure actor training at local theatre venues. In her words, "My dreams and my goals have always been with the excitement of being on stage."
Kalen Allen
West Middle School
Kansas City, Kansas

Kalen's talents lie in singing, acting, and dancing. In the words of Kalen's school principal, " Kalen is one of those students who excels at anything he chooses to do. There are students who will leave a lasting impression. Kalen is one of those students. There is not doubt that Kalen is a talented young man." Kalen will be using his scholarship funds to train in singing, dancing, and acting at facilities in the metro area. In his words, "I want to develop my God given talent and use it to touch other's lives."

2008 Scholarship Winners - Dominique Vaughn, Edward Pouncil &
Ve'Shawn Dixon

Dominique Vaughn
Urban Community Leadership Academy
Kansas City, Missouri 

Dominique loves to be on stage, both dancing and acting. A leader at her local theatre program remarks, “Dominique is a very outgoing student and she is able to adjust her character to do whatever she needs to do to fulfill her role.” Dominique will be using her scholarship funds to further her dancing skills at a local school of dance. In her words, “When I get on stage it’s like a dream come true. It gives me an opportunity to express myself in ways that I can’t in my day-to-day life. I love what I do and I am good at what I do.
Edward Pouncil
Scuola Vita Nuova
Kansas City, Missouri 

Edward is both a talented singer and dancer. According to his dance teacher, “Every time he is on stage you can tell that he loves to perform and lights up the stage with his presence.” Edward will be using his scholarship funds to pursue dance training at a local facility. In his words, “I believe that I can be successful in my talents…I’m going to keep grabbing onto things that satisfy and represent me when they come my way.
Ve’Shawn Dixon
Rosedale Middle School
Kansas City, Kansas 

Ve’Shawn loves all aspects of performance---singing, dancing, and acting.  According to his music teacher, “He is a delight to work with and very easy to direct.  Ve’Shawn is a very intelligent and talented young man.”  Ve’Shawn will be using his scholarship funds to focus on acting training at local professional theatres.

2007 Scholarship Winners - Karla Morales & Deanna Oliver 

Karla Morales
Trailridge Middle School
Shawnee Mission, Kansas 

Karla is a gifted dancer, who wants to train in ballet.  In the words of her teacher, “I believe that dancing will not only continue to enrich Karla’s life; but also, that Karla has much to offer the art of dance.”  Karla is using her scholarship funds to acquire local dance training.  In her words, “Dance has always been an important part of my life.  This scholarship would open a lot of opportunities for me.  Finally, my dreams would come true.
Deanna Oliver
Pioneer Ridge Middle School
Independence, MO 

Deanna loves to act, and hopes to one day become a professional actress.  According to her teacher, “ Dee is very creative and has a likeable personality…She is very positive and optimistic and is able to cope under pressure.”  Deanna is using her scholarship funds to acquire acting training from a local institute.  In her words, “When I act I can be myself and have fun with it.  It’s always been one of my dreams and passions to act professionally.

2006 Scholarship Winners - Betzy Castellon & Courtney Germany

Betzy Castellon
TrailRidge Middle School 
Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Betzy is an aspiring actress who also loves to dance.  Her teacher says of Betzy that she is “an extremely hard worker and realizes the commitment it takes to pursue excellence…Her sunshiny personality is infectious.”  Betzy is utilizing her scholarship funds to seek training in acting from local professional theatres.  In her words, “I want this scholarship more than I’ve wanted anything else…winning this scholarship would be something no words can describe.
Courtney Germany
Rosedale Middle School
Kansas City, Kansas

Courtney is a talented dancer who truly loves her art!   In the words of her dance instructor, “She is a strong dancer and an even harder worker who will train and practice until the job is done.”  Courtney is using her scholarship funds to train at a local dance academy.  In her words, “I feel like the best part of me comes out when I dance….It’s hard work, but I love every minute of it.”