fifth Annual Dream Big Contest winners honored on stage at The Lyric Baltimore

By Special to the AFRO

Winners of the fifth annual Dream Big Contest had been not too long ago introduced and celebrated on the Lyric Baltimore, the historic live-entertainment venue in Baltimore, Md. 

The Lyric Foundation, which operates and maintains the theater, introduced each Dreamers (runners-up) and Visionaries (grand prize winners) on the Lyric stage. 

“The Lyric Education team is so proud of all of our 2022 Dream Big Contest finalists,” mentioned Director of Education on the Lyric Baltimore, Denise Kumani Gantt, in a press release. “These students have put in the work to imagine impressive, creative solutions to real-life inequities they and others face in their lives. We are always moved by the vision of young people in our community, and can’t wait for them to be able to share their dreams on stage with an audience.” 

The contest kicked off in January on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day when The Lyric Foundation requested Baltimore-area college students in grades 5 by 12 to contemplate their massive desires—for his or her lives, communities, and faculties. The college students had been then requested to submit a poem, essay or video bringing that dream to life. This 12 months’s finalists had been chosen by the ultimate adjudicator, Fanon Hill, Director of the Youth Resiliency Institute.  

In particular person for the primary time since going digital in 2020 and 2021, the awards celebration was hosted by WBAL-TV anchor Jason Newton. Democratic Maryland State Senator Cory V. McCray, of District 45, offered this system’s keynote deal with. An opening efficiency was additionally given by native spoken phrase artist, Sha-Shonna Rogers.  

This 12 months’s Visionaries shared their successful works on April 18, on-stage within the Lyric theater home and acquired a prize package deal estimated at $750 in worth. 

Dreamers in attendance additionally acquired awards and had been welcomed on stage. Prizes together with laptops, money prizes, and extra had been made doable because of quite a few sponsors: BGE, Bank of America, Comcast, Greenberg Gibbons, Whiting-Turner, and the Dream Big media sponsor, WBAL-TV 11 News. 

“We are proud to support the Dream Big Contest and are inspired by the creative stories shared by this year’s finalists as they reflect on their personal experiences and important issues impacting their communities,” mentioned Director of Government and Community Affairs for Comcast’s Beltway Region, Dawn Kirstaetter. “The laptops donated to this year’s students will help leverage their creativity to foster new digital skills, and aligns with our commitment to ensure every individual has access to the tools and skills to succeed in today’s increasingly digital world.” 

Winning “visionary” Grayson Bess, a fifth grader at Calvert School, along with his dad and mom. and a $500 prize. (Photo by Natalie Singleton)

Bank of America Greater Maryland sponsored the competition for the scholars this 12 months.

“The Lyric Foundation’s Dream Big Essay Contest offers students the opportunity to showcase their visions on how to make our community and world a better place,” mentioned Janet Currie, president of Bank of America Greater Maryland. “At Bank of America, we believe in the power of the arts to educate and enrich societies, create greater cultural understanding and help communities thrive. We are grateful for the work of the Lyric Foundation—which encourages growth, inspires leadership and creates opportunities for local youth to create a pathway for a stronger future.” 

For readers trying to see the awards program, catch the WBAL-TV broadcast of the ceremony at 11:30 am on April twenty fourth. 

Congratulations to the next college students:  


Joshua Sharp, Grade 12, The Community School  

BellaGrace Annibal, Grade 6, Homeschooled  

Grayson Bess, Grade 5, Calvert School  

Chiemela Nwokoro, Grade 10, Eastern Technical High School  

Xin Yue Lu, Grade 10, Dulaney High School  

Graham TerBeek, Grade 6, Dumbarton Middle School  


Fatou Diouf, Grade 11, Baltimore City College  

Asia Webster, Grade 9, Baltimore City College  

Jamya Anderson, Grade 5, Dallas F. Nicholas Elementary School  

Joy Onchera, Grade 6, The Belair-Edison School  

Carrie Snowden, Grade 11, Baltimore Design School  

Carmyn Harvin, Grade 11, Kenwood High School 

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