Marsh Harbour’s Jovan Bailey, 16, has been accepted into the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Rising Star Program. This intensive, five-week program gives talented high school seniors a taste of the university experience.
Students enroll in (and receive credit for) two college-level classes, in which they can build or expand their artistic portfolios. Participants have access to all university resources in completing their work, and are encouraged to take part in extra-curricular group activities such as visits to local art galleries and museums. They live in university residences and enjoy their meals at a SCAD dining hall.
An eleventh-grader at Forest Heights Academy, Jovan has been passionate about art and crafts for as long his art teacher, Lori Thompson, can remember. “He has been an active member in our Junkanoo program since grade 7, building and decorating costumes,” she says. “He’s spent a few summers in art programs in Nassau, but this is definitely a step up.”
According to Jovan’s mother, Michelle Bailey, her son has always been creative. He bakes delicious cakes. He likes to write, and a few years back won the Bahamas Water & Sewerage’s Wet and Wise national essay contest. One year, he hand-painted his Christmas gift tags.
“Lori’s art classes excited and inspired him,” says Michelle. “Every summer since the seventh grade he’s tried to build on his skills by enrolling in an art class, and his confidence slowly began to grow.”
Jovan has twice attended the RBC-FINCO summer art workshops in Nassau, and he also enrolled in Queen’s College Summer Art Camp. He was a bit intimidated at first, says Michelle, but he was determined, and he received awards every year. Being among talented young artists his age in an atmosphere of excellence has helped him develop his own eye, she says, and learn to put himself into his painting.
An active member of his school’s Eco Club and President-elect of the Interact Club, Jovan accrues 50-60 hours of community service per year. His kindness and courtesy toward others have been recognized with several “student of the month” awards.
Though Michelle says he’s not a natural athlete, Jovan set fitness goals for himself, and joined his school’s running club to help him achieve them. After fifteen months of hard work, he was able to complete one leg of a relay as part of a team in Marathon Bahamas.
Jovan leaves June 15th for Savannah. Though he has been awarded a partial scholarship, he and his family are responsible for the majority of his tuition, plus housing, food, books and art supplies. To assist with raising the necessary funds, a Bailey family friend has set up a GoFundMe page. If you can contribute toward helping this Abaco rising star follow his dream, I’m sure he’d be grateful.
Good luck, Jovan, and make Abaco proud!