Program to showcase talents of local youth

The talent and performing arts organization Kids Aspiring to Dream will showcase local students Saturday during a program at The University of Texas at Tyler Braithwaite Recital Hall. The Kids Aspiring to Dream graduates who will receive scholarships are pictured here, from left, Christian Kay, Nytesia Poe Ross, Alexis Redwine, Kylie Cook, and JaShae’ Banks. Those not pictured are Gabrielle Steele and Colby Campbell. Courtesy

When Christian Kay first laid eyes on a cello, he decided he wanted to play it. Already a student of the violin, his parents told him he had to play violin for one year before switching.

So about nine years ago, while in elementary school, he made the change. Now Kay, 18, a soon-to-be King's Academy Christian School graduate, plans to attend the Boston Conservatory and pursue a career in music.

"I guess it's just getting to perform," Kay said of why he likes playing the cello. "I like going different places and just sharing my talent."

Kay will be among the students represented at the Kids Aspiring to Dream Scholarship Honors and Recognition Program on Saturday at The University of Texas at Tyler's Braithwaite Recital Hall.

The program, from 5 to 7 p.m., is free and open to the public.

It will feature performances and exhibits by student poets, artists, dancers, musicians and singers.

The program's theme is "Making Your Mark." Bobby Perdue of LPH Production will be the guest speaker.

Scholarships will be presented to high school graduates and current college students.

The program also will include a time to honor community leaders who support area youth.

As a talent and performing arts organization, Kids Aspiring to Dream exists to provide youth ages 13 and up with quality events and activities that will develop their talents and leadership skills, according to the organization's website.

Doris Batson, a retired art teacher, said she helped start the organization, because she wanted young people to realize they are only going to be successful if they allow their talents to be used by God.

Kay, who has been involved in the organization for a couple years, said it provides an opportunity to reach out to and inspire other youth and an outlet for youth to showcase their talents.

"I think it is very helpful to kind of reveal some of the artists that are around here in the local area," Kay said.

For more information about the organization, visit

Twitter: @TMTEmily

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