Harlem’s National Dance Institute (NDI) Alumni Receives Meringoff Valedictory Scholarship Awards 2022

A huge congratulations to Harlem-based National Dance Institute (NDI) Alums Talia Homer and Keyla Hiciano!

The Meringoff Family Foundation offered its seventh-annual Meringoff Valedictory Prize, a scholarship essay competition for college-bound high school seniors.

NDI Alums Talia and Keyla entered the essay contest and we are pleased to announce they each have been awarded a $1,000 semi-finalist scholarship by the Meringoff Family Foundation.

Special thanks to the Meringoff family for these generous gifts that will help pave the way for these young leaders as they move on to college. 

Talia will be studying at McGill University and Keyla will be attending SUNY Oneonta.


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Talia and Keyla were invited to submit to the essay competition as an acknowledgment of their academic achievements, their ongoing involvement with NDI, and in celebration of being college-bound this year. 

Both Talia’s and Keyla’s essays were about their experiences at NDI and the impact NDI has had on their lives.

Keyla is interesting in pursuing teaching studies. Her essay noted, “I have never been a part of something like NDI. People that encourage young children to dance and give them a creative outlet.

A safe space to be comfortable in your skin. I know that NDI will accept me with open arms no matter where I am in life. I can only hope that I can bring all the great memories and knowledge that I’ve gained from NDI and use it to inspire the next generation of children to be open to anything and be creative … when I become a teacher.”

Talia’s experiences with NDI have helped her to discover what she wants to pursue in the future. “Specifically,” she said, “working with dancers with disabilities through NDI’s DREAM Project sparked my passion for advocacy in the disability rights movement. Throughout high school, I have participated in activist efforts to fight for the voting rights of people with disabilities. I now plan to major in Political Science or Public Health in college so that I can learn how to use my passion for this cause to effect actual policy change.”

Just before presenting the MVP scholarship awards, children from NDI’s Summer Institute treated Stuart Post, Executive Director of the Meringoff Family Foundation, to a special private performance with our special guest artist Earl Mosley. “Mos” is this year’s NDI Helen Stambler Neuberger Artist in Residence.

National Dance Institue, 217 West 147ht Street, New York, NY 10039, 212.226.0083, National Dance Institue.Org



Photo credit: 1-2) NDI.

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