Educational Programming Spotlight: Oratory Scholarship Recipient

Last year in our newsletter, we told you about our annual oratory program, Stand Up and Be Heard, where D.C.-area students have the unique opportunity to present original and historical speeches on our stage after working all year with a Ford's Theatre Teaching Artist. BP America, which generously sponsors our education programs, also awards scholarships to participants who demonstrate extraordinary leadership qualities and positive civic engagement. One of last year's recipients, Nelly Quintanilla (currently a student at Marymount University) discusses her experience at Ford's below.

What do you remember most fondly about your time at Ford's?

NQ: I remember the improv exercises that Ms. D (Thembi Duncan, Lead Teaching Artist) led. It was cool to see how creative people are. I especially enjoyed those exercises because it pushed me out of my comfort level with public speaking, but turned out to be really fun.

What did you learn while here?

NQ: I learned that words are strong, therefore it is really important to speak up when we are passionate about something.

Why do you think Ford's is important to future generations?

NQ: Ford's represents our ability, as people, to progress and change the world. It teaches us that we must always strive for what is right, even if we are not directly being affected by the problem, which is something that future generations definitely need to know.

How did you use the BP America scholarship awarded to you last year?

NQ: I purchased a laptop, which has definitely come in handy this year, and a couple of textbooks. I cannot be more thankful for this scholarship and everything that Ford Theatre has done for me.

Photo of Ray Dempsey, VP Government and Public Affairs at BP America, and Nelly Quintanilla by Gary Erskine. (Lead Education Sponsor: BP America; Additional support provided by Concast, NBCUniversal and Target.)