Secondary School Scholarship

Please Note: This scholarship is now the Steve Bayless Undergraduate Scholarship.

2018-2019 Secondary School Scholar

Congratulations, Nia Blondell!

A home schooled student, Nia will attend the University of Mary Washington (UMW) and pursue a double major in Theater and Political Science. She began performing at the age of eight and has been cast in lead and ensemble roles in both community theater and professional productions. On the small screen, Nia appeared in the PBS drama “Mercy Street.” Behind the scenes she has worked as dance captain and make-up artist, assistant instructor at a Montessori school after school theater program, and director of a summer theater camp for a Virginia Beach home school program. Nia was honored by the Little Theater of Norfolk with the Jeffrey W. Corriveau Scholarship for graduating seniors. In addition, the University of Mary Washington Department of Theater and Dance selected her as the winner of the Barbara Crickenberger Hall Theater Scholarship which is awarded to an incoming freshman who demonstrates potential to excel in theater.

Scholarship Stories

Recent Secondary School Scholars share what winning the scholarship meant to their studies and how the award funds helped them pursue their ambitions:

Devon Mandell ~ 2017-2018 Scholar

“This recognition brought me a form of confidence I have never felt before. My mom was with me when I realized I had been granted this scholarship and the excitement we shared was priceless. Not only am I proud to accept this scholarship, but I am proud to represent my family and high school theatre family through this accomplishment.”

Jensen Brielle Fleisher ~ 2016-2017 Scholar

“Winning the SETC Secondary Scholarship solidified a confidence within me that I wasn’t able to grasp onto before. It was like any negative opinions there were about me didn’t matter anymore. The experience of the entire ordeal was truly eye opening, and I felt so honored to represent my school, family and high school theatre in such a beautiful setting.”


We are 110% committed to our constituents, inclusion, and the craft of theatre.