Emerging Voices Award

Emerging Voices Award

The I AM WGI: Emerging Voices Award is a community-funded monetary award that provides an opportunity for outstanding minority performers with significant financial needs to reach their highest potential. The Award is geared toward those individuals who show promise to be a beacon for positive change in their communities and WGI.

The I AM WGI: Emerging Voices Award strives to reduce financial barriers for historically underrepresented performers with high artistic and leadership promise from the African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander, and Hispanic American populations.

The funds from the Award will go towards select endeavors on behalf of the recipient which may include but are not limited to: Secondary Education, Vocational Training, Membership Tuition or other projects deemed appropriate by the Award Committee as detailed in the recipient’s application.

Funding for this Award will come directly from leaders, families, educators, supporters and fans of WGI who all share a vested interest in supporting highly qualified individuals from historically underrepresented populations.

2024 Emerging Voices Award Recipients

Olivia Starnes

Sade Taylor

Past Emerging Voices Award Recipients

Kennedy Riles

Jonathan Marrero

James Salmond

Luz Riviera

Chris Washington

Recipient Responsibilities and Opportunities


The recipients will participate in projects and social outreach as ambassadors for the I AM WGI campaign.

Social Service

The recipients will create opportunities to engage in volunteerism in their community.


The recipients will play a key role in telling their story and the impact of this Award in their lives through contributions for use on the many different media channels WGI uses to tell its stories.


The recipients will have mentorship opportunities facilitated by the WGI Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. 


The participant will use their platform to connect with and engage their peers and the underrepresented. 

Personal Growth

Funds can be awarded for furthering the recipient’s education or vocational training beyond high school. Recipients will also be enrolled in the newly formed Future Leaders Program

Candidate Eligibility​

Candidates must be:

      • A contracted member of a WGI Ensemble from the United States or a member of an Ensemble affiliated with an official WGI Circuit Partner.
      • Candidates must be at least 18 years of age as when they submit their application.

Application Requirements

Application + Video

Online Application with basic information, eligibility requirements, a high quality headshot (such as a yearbook photo), along with a short (<1 minute)  video detailing why the candidate is applying and the purpose for  which the funds are being sought.


Candidates must also submit 1 letter of recommendation written  on their behalf along with a one  page resume and an essay on their background, qualifications, and interest in this Award.


Final candidates virtual interview with the Award Committee.