Atlanta, GA, July 30, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- It is no small feat preparing to compete in one of the world’s most popular talent competitions. For girls throughout the country ages 13-17, attaining the coveted Hal Jackson’s Talented Teen International (HJTTI) title is a yearlong commitment. Proving that stars are born and not manufactured, the HJTTI alumni list reads like a who’s who of the entertainment world. Past participants include Vanessa Williams, Michelle Thomas, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Jada Pinkett –Smith with special guest appearances by supernovas such as Alicia Keys, Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson. With quiet confidence and a little bit of mystery, Briyana Guadalupe of Canton became the 39th winner of Hal Jackson’s Talented Teen International 2009 before a sold out crowd in New York City’s Aaron Davis Hall. This honor student took the title along with over $6,000 in scholarships and several trips abroad as she journeys from HIS-story to tell Her-story. The 2009 top winners include: 1st runner up and Miss Personality is 17 year old Terneille Herbert of Trinidad and Tobago; 2nd runner up and Miss Congeniality is 17 year old Nadjah Pennington of Delaware; 3rd runner up is 15 year old Gianna Smith of New York; 4th runner up is 14 year old Tiayna Cedillo of New Jersey; Miss GPA is 15 year old Chloe’ Joubert of Louisiana; and Miss Photogenic is 16 year old Gabrielle Turner of Ohio.
HIS-story started almost 70 years ago in the broadcasting world. Hal Jackson experienced many first, among them becoming the first African American inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame. His strong commitments to our youth lead him to develop the Youth Development Foundation and launch Hal Jackson’s Talented Teen International, a scholarship program devoted to “Promoting Culture and Education through the Performing Arts” almost 40 years ago. Over the years, HJTTI has played an instrumental role in cultivating and supporting the academic achievement and artistic growth of over 25,000 young women between the ages of 13 to 17. Over 90% of the young women that participated in the HJTT program have gone on to graduate from college. The HJTTI program operates in the United States, the Caribbean, Canada and Africa impacting the lives of over 500 young women each year.
On July 18, 2009 HIS-story and Her-story came together as 14-year-old Briyana Guadalupe, the daughter of Ms. Brenda Guadalupe, captivated the audience with her heart felt and dynamic voice during her moving medley entitled “Change”. Many spectators said Briyana “sealed the deal” as she so eloquently unveiled change garnering her top honors as “Most Talented” and “Miss Creativity”. Mrs. Guadalupe said “Talented Teens is more than a scholarship program; it empowers our girls and prepares them for life. We are honored to be a part of EGTYI and HJTTI”. Briyana said, “It was great to meet girls just like me all coming together with a common goal through the arts”.
“During the program, appropriately themed “I AM Change”, the audience was moved with outstanding musical performances from Gospel recording artists Livre’ a group formed by Alicia Keys, Sophia Moon and the phenomenal violinist, Kersten Stevens, both former HJTT winners. The evening was one of adulation and love as former talented teens came back to honor Mr. Jackson who at age 93 is still devoted to providing opportunities to our young women. The evening was set ablaze when the 2009 delegates and choreographer Keisha Clark-Gray performed a moving dance tribute to the late Michael Jackson. Earlier in the week, the delegates cruised the NY Harbor, toured WBLS radio station, attended the Broadway play “Mary Poppins”, the Shooting Stars Awards at Tavern on the Green, appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s the Today Show and spent many hours rehearsing for the ensuing program. Briyana said, “Mr. & Mrs. Jackson really made us feel like one of the family and I truly enjoyed touring the radio station”.
Empowering Georgia’s Talented Youth, Inc. (EGTYI), a 501(c) 3 organization now in its seventh (7th) year, sponsored Briyana. Since Arlisa Bradshaw and Vickie Clark began EGTYI, over 90% of EGTYI delegates have received scholarships on the international level. Briyana is the second young lady under EGTYI to bring home the International title (the first was Tatiana McConnico in 2003). For more information EGTYI or HJTTI of GA and/or schedule an interview or appearance for Briyana Guadalupe, please contact EGTYI at email@example.com
HJTTI is a non-profit tax exempt 501(c) 3 organization sponsored by Hal Jackson Productions, ICBC Broadcasting Holdings, Inc., the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board, Seton Hall University, William Paterson University, My Feet Travel; Make the Grade Foundation, and Affinity Health Plan. For more information on the HJTTI Scholarship Program visit them online at talentedteens.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org