(West Palm Beach, FL – January 25, 2014) For the fifth consecutive year talented Palm Beach County students were honored for their outstanding performances of Shakespearean scenes at the Alan Lebow Award for Excellence in Shakespearean Performance, hosted by Kids’ Dreams at the Kravis Center. The program, which was created by Kids’ Dreams in memory of its late co-founder Alan Lebow, supports high school students from Title 1 schools in their love of poetry, drama, film and literature.
More than $5,000 in grants were awarded to the following 2014 Lebow Award winners are:
Top Winners: $1,000 each
· Victor Monsalve, a sophomore at Boynton Beach Community High School
· Majesty Smith, a junior at Inlet Grove Community High School.
Honorable Mention: $500 each
· Rood Emmanuel, a senior at Inlet Grove Community High School
· Elize Jadimene, a junior at Boynton Beach High School
· Kandyce Kennedy, a sophomore at Boynton Beach High School
· Isabella Letourneau, a junior at Atlantic Community High School
Distinguished Participation: $250 each
· Azia Curry-Jonsson
· Yamari Hanslip
· Xiomarr Johnson
· Jepthelee Jordonne, and Albert Norgaisse (tied and received $125 each)
Twenty-seven students competed at the Kravis Center in December 2013 for the honor of receiving a Lebow award. Judges included Beverly Blanchette, Kenneth Kay and Karen Stephens. Each participant was required to recite from memory and act out a two minute selection from a Shakespearean play.
Lebow’s widow and co-founder of Kids’ Dreams, Patricia Lebow, the managing partner of the statewide law firm Broad and Cassel’s West Palm Beach office, presented the awards at a recent ceremony held at the Kravis Center. She was joined by Palm Beach County Mayor Priscilla Taylor and Kravis Center CEO Judith Mitchell.
“I know that all of the students in this audience worked very hard to memorize their Shakespearean selections for this competition,” said Lebow. “My husband’s love of Shakespeare started when he was a young boy and carried through his life, as I hope it will carry through yours.”
“No matter what career path you may choose in life, the ability to recite poetry and speak clearly will always serve you well.”
Mayor Taylor echoed those motivations words by adding, “This kind of discipline is so valuable. No one can write your destiny except you. There’s not a single thing you can’t accomplish.”
Also at the ceremony, the first annual $1,000 Alan Lebow Memorial College Scholarship was presented to Rood Emmanuel, a senior at Inlet Grove Community High School, who has earned the distinction of honorable mention for the past four years. He achieved these recognitions while maintaining a 3.5 GPA, taking dual enrollment classes at Palm Beach State College and earning certifications as an EKG technician and administrative medical assistant. His long-term goal is become a doctor.
“I always look forward to performing at the Kravis Center and will always cherish the experience,” said Rood. “Kids’ Dreams gave me the opportunity, and I know that’s all I needed.”
Rood and his fellow top Lebow Award recipients performed Shakespearean excerpts for the more than 100 community leaders, Kids’ Dreams board members, and friends and family members in attendance. Performers were: Isabella Letourneau, Majesty Smith, Rood Emmanuel and Victor Monsalve. Johnson Sinophat, a former Alan Lebow Award Top Winner who now attends Palm Beach State College, also performed.
Another Kids’ Dreams grant recipient and emerging vocalist D’Andre Bannister, a 6th grader at Jupiter Middle School, opened the program by singing John Lennon’s “Imagine.”