Baldwin student accepted to Interlochen Center for the Arts

'I am the next level beyond proud,' mother says

BALDWIN — The excitement and smiles can hardly be contained for eighth-grade Baldwin student BreNee Williams, and those who share her joy of being accepted with a scholarship to the world-renown Interlochen Center for the Arts. 

Gifted in many areas of the creative arts, Williams was awarded a $45,000 scholarship in Creative Writing, to attend high school at the academy beginning the fall 2022 term. Interlochen has been cultivating and shaping talent for gifted youth throughout the world for nearly a century. 

"When I was in elementary school, I went to Coit Creative Arts Academy in Grand Rapids. My best friend Brooklynn also went there and we would discuss the future and where we wanted to go. I wanted to go to Interlochen because it was one of the best. Since then, this has been the end-goal," Williams  said. 

The creative influences began early in life for Willliams. 

"Since I was three, I was dancing. In second grade I began performing and stuff like that," she said. "Theatre is one of the big ones, and second is creative writing. I write poetry more than anything, and short stories. Third is instruments. I play a little violin, a little guitar, a key on the piano and recorder. Fourth, I love to sing, to sing and dance." 

BreNee's mother, LaPortia Williams, is just as excited about her daughter's acceptance to Interlochen. 

"The only thing I can say is I'm in absolute awe of her. I am the next level beyond proud. She does good things every day, and had this dream for so long. She never forgot it and stuck with it. Of  $70,000 cost of tuition, she was awarded $45,000 from Interlochen based on academic merits, not just for her creativity, but for being so well-rounded. I feel this will take her where her dreams want to go," LaPortia said. 

Among her educators and mentors who have been supporting Williams in her dreams is Pat Williams with the Idlewild Community Development Corporation, who volunteers at the after school program Project Focus. 

"I am really proud of her. To get one student moving forward is a blessing. I am always here to assist in whatever way I can to help. BreNee is the first known Baldwin student to have applied and be accepted to Interlochen, so this is an honor for the community as well as the school. We are going to try and help her achieve the best way possible," she said. 

ICDC is setting up scholarship fund to help BreNee, and other gifted students achieve their goals and dreams, by easing the financial costs. To help BreNee with further costs to attend Interlochen, checks can be sent to: Idlewild Community Development Corporation, 14910 Lake Drive, Idlewild, MI 49642. The organization also can be contacted by phone at 231-250-3274 or email at patricial.williams10@hotmail.com.

"I plan on going all four years. I am absolutely excited," Williams added.