Students across Jacksonville showcase their talents

4th annual Rising Stars Talent Show held at Florida Theatre

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The odds may be stacked against them, but these young people are proving they have a lot to offer the Jacksonville community.

Terry Parker High School sophmore Aunalyse Darby has a voice the crowd appreciates. She and other young students across Jacksonville were showing off their talents at the 4th annual Rising Stars Talent Show inside the Florida Theatre on Thursday night.

"(It's) not about the competition, not about winning or losing, but just to enjoy the experience and the opportunity that I probably wouldn't have had," Aunalyse said. 

Through Communities in Schools Jacksonville, kids whose surroundings could make it easy to drop out of school find an outlet. It's a way to build confidence, improve their skills and gain pride in their own abilities.

"Based on my performance, based on my personality and how I present myself really shows how my school is, really shows what it's like, to grab people's attention," Aunalyse said.

Steve Gilbert, the organization's CEO, says encouraging kids like Aunalyse is what they're all about.

"We serve about 7,000 kids every year and this performance tonight will really highlight some of their talents," Gilbert said.

Vic Miccolucci had the honor of co-emceeing Thursday night's event alongside a student.

Aunalyse received the third place trophy. Second place went to the Robinson Rising Rockets dance team from Andrew Robinson Elementary School.

Singer Carlos Youngblood from Northwestern Middle School took home the first place trophy.

About the Author:

Joy Purdy co-anchors the 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. newscasts with Tarik Minor and the 11 p.m. weeknight newscasts with Kent Justice.