NWSA Theater Students Among Select Arts Posse Scholars to Join UNCSA

David Hernandez student pointing on stage

Two New World School of the Arts (NWSA) high school students are among the nine students selected nationwide to join the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) in the Fall of 2023 as newly-inducted Arts Posse Scholars. Jolie Cannava and David Hernandez, both from the theater division, are the only theater students this year in the 9-scholar Arts Posse cohort. NWSA has been honored with more than twenty Posse Scholars since 2011, of which six have been selected from the school’s theater program.
“One of the greatest rewards as a high school principal is to watch students excel, graduate and enroll in college,” said Dr. Contessa S. Bryant, high school Principal at New World School of the Arts. “An even greater reward, though, is watching students go with substantial scholarships specifically in the arts. UNCSA has offered David and Jolie, extremely talented students, the opportunity to study their art without the concern of tuition and fees. I am so grateful to UNCSA for helping to lead the work with Arts Posse Scholars and so excited for what the future holds for Jolie and David.”

Two students on stage performing in Cinderella dressed in period costume.

Jolie Cannava entered New School of the Arts in ninth grade after a successful audition for the theater program. “In addition to excelling in her chosen arts discipline, Jolie’s involvement in extracurricular activities has helped her stand out from the rest. Her leadership role as president of the Health Information Project, has allowed her to promote awareness of the physical and mental well-being of students, having a direct positive impact on her peers,” explained Pamela Cabarcos, Guidance Counselor at NWSA. “She is articulate, dedicated, persistent, creative, and talented. Her enthusiasm and determination will be the driving force that will aid her to reach for her dreams and goals.”
Having entered New World School of the Arts as a tenth grader, “David had what it takes to be admitted to one of a very few openings available to incoming sophomores in our theater division,” continued Ms. Cabarcos. “David Hernandez possesses great charisma and lights up a room upon entrance. He has great people skills that have served him well to this point. This is evident in his work with the True Mirage Theater where he has worked on and coordinated multiple projects. In addition, David has received scholarships to the exclusive ArtsBridge and French Woods summer camps and was a finalist in the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Young Entrepreneur Contest where he completed a business plan and marketing material in support of his product going on to represent our school at the regional level. David’s drive and determination to succeed should serve him well as he moves to the next academic level.”

UNCSA is one of three partner institutions in the Posse Arts Program, founded in 2021, which is an expansion of the Posse Scholars program that helps recruit, train, and support talented students who might be missed through traditional avenues. Many Posse Scholars are often the first in their families to attend college or come from historically underrepresented communities. These students arrive in a cohort of peers, an “Arts Posse”, and receive full-tuition scholarships from partner institutions, on-campus mentoring, and other support services. UNCSA welcomed its first cohort of Arts Posse Scholars in 2022. To date, financial support for the Posse Arts Program at UNCSA has come from The Posse Foundation and local donors within North Carolina. The commitment from the Kenan Charitable Trust will, in conjunction with these existing funds, fully support the current Arts Posse cohort.
The Posse Foundation identifies, recruits and trains exceptional young leaders from urban public high schools and sends them in multicultural teams, Posses, of 10 students to top colleges and universities across the country. Since 1989, Posse and its partner colleges and universities have selected more than 10,000 Posse Scholars. Award recipients have collectively won close to $2 billion in full-tuition merit scholarships from Posse partner schools. Posse Scholars graduate at a rate of 90 percent, significantly above the national average. The Posse Foundation is a national initiative with program chapters in Atlanta, the Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York City and Washington, D.C. Through its Arts, Veterans and Virtual program initiatives,
A Florida center of excellence in the visual and performing arts, New World School of the Arts is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College, and University of Florida. NWSA provides a comprehensive program of artistic, creative, and academic development through a curriculum that reflects our community and the rich multicultural state of Florida. Through our partners NWSA confers the high school diploma, Associate of Arts degree, and Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees in programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance, Music, Theater and Art & Design. NWSA’s rigorous eight-year curriculum and conservatory-style teaching has empowered students in our community and our nation to become leaders in the arts for more three decades.
Information about New World School of the Arts at 305-237-3135 or nwsa.mdc.edu.