Inspired by Stoneman Douglas Courage to Take Action & Give Back
Incredible drama students honored with scholarships to pre-college performing arts intensive program, College Break Thru.
by David Petro
I watched in horror as the students, teachers, and families lived through the most horrific of tragedies anyone could imagine. Like all Americans, I was paralyzed by the news and overwhelmed with disbelief that this nightmare could be our reality once again. Within twenty-four hours, my tornado of anger and outrage had already touched down, and the familiar feeling of helplessness began to form.
But something was different this time. The students of Stoneman Douglas started to tell their stories. The students spoke with strength, eloquence, and confidence as they told their truths. They publicly marched, then peacefully laid in silence. During town halls, they respectfully listened and presented heartfelt judgment-free rebuttals. Internet bullies trolled them, and they gracefully rose above.
I learned in a New York Post article that many of the leading outspoken students like Sawyer Garrity, Cameron Kasky, and Alex Wind are drama students. This came as no surprise to me. As theatre students we are taught every skill these students effortlessly displayed: active listening, self-confidence, teamwork, and belief that you can create change through your art.
I also learned that these drama students were in rehearsal when the shooting began. Their courageous drama teacher, Melody Herzfeld, saved 65 lives by barricading her students into a small classroom closet for hours.
Honestly, after writing the paragraph above, I had to stop, take a breath and sit in the thought of that moment.
Through the actions of Mrs. Herzfeld and her students, I knew I needed to take action. This time we will not be helpless. This time we will not wait for change. This time we will not let it happen again.
We may not all have money to give, but we have our time, we have our voice, and we have our vote.
In honor of her courage and leadership, Broadway Break Thru has created the Melody Herzfeld College Break Thru Scholarship.
Mrs. Herzfeld will be selecting her students to be awarded the College Break Thru scholarships.
Some of the College Break Thru universities will be offering college scholarships to the College Break Thru Marjory Stoneman Douglas students.
Broadway Break Thru will be providing the first full scholarship. It is our goal to provide as many scholarships as possible to the Parkland high school students.
BBT will be providing the Melody Herzfeld scholarship every year we offer College Break Thru or any other pre-college program.
I make this announcement not to advertise myself or my company, but to honor Mrs. Herzfeld and all the faculty, students and families of Stoneman Douglas.
Also to offer a reminder that one person can make a difference, one teacher can save lives, and one student can change the world.