Through our Extraordinary Scholarship program, we award $1,000 scholarships to five deserving high school students each year. The program supports ambitious students in their educational journeys to pursue remarkable things. 

Elsie’s grit and determination earned her spot as a 2023 winner of Daniel Stark’s Extraordinary Scholarship. Driven by her passion for music, Elsie created an environment for her peers to display their amazing talents in front of a live audience.  

What Inspired Elsie to Make a Change? 

Growing up in Austin, Texas, Elsie became familiar with the thrill of live entertainment. However, not all the talent she encountered was from the big stage. Often, she would hang out and listen to garage bands performing in underground tunnels. 

“I have a good eye and ear for artistic talent and observed tremendous skill and creativity among my teenage friends,” Elsie said. “Unfortunately, because of their age, there was no public forum for them to show it off.” 

Elsie wanted to change that. She wanted to give her peers the opportunity they deserved to display their talents for a large audience.  

How did Elsie Inspire Change in Her Community? 

Elsie knew that the teenage talent deserved to be exposed. So, she spent her own time and money developing a plan and securing a venue.  

Though Elsie struggled to find time to execute an entire music festival, she recalls “The challenge was rewarding in more ways than one.”  

After weeks of planning, Elsie put on her first high school art and music festival. Drawn from the inspiring moment of finding her passion for music in an unconventional setting, she named the event, “Tunnel Vision.” She managed to secure a local Austin stage and invited seven bands to play over 4 hours. Meanwhile, twelve visual artists were set up to sell their own artwork. A crowd of four hundred people spilled in to watch this incredible event.  

With this event being so successful, Elsie hosted two more festivals. The popularity of these events caught the attention of local media and were featured on news casts and podcasts. Through “Tunnel Vision,” Elsie managed to bring her community together using a shared interest in art and music. 

Daniel Stark’s Extraordinary Scholarship 

It is an honor to share Elsie’s accomplishments throughout high school. Our mission through Daniel Stark’s Extraordinary Scholarship program is to encourage young adults to achieve great things. We believe that Elsie will continue to inspire change in her community as she continues her educational career. 

Congratulations to our 2023 scholarship winners! 

To apply for our 2024 Extraordinary Scholarship program, click here.