CCA student recognized in Jimmy Awards for theater

William Morris

Canyon Crest Academy senior William Morris advanced from the Broadway San Diego Awards to the Jimmy Awards, which recognizes high school students all over the country who are involved in musical theater, where he was named a semi-finalist.

The Jimmy Awards, held virtually on July 15 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, were hosted by “Holes” star Corbin Bleu. Morris, 17, said he received a $2,000 scholarship for finishing as one of eight semi-finalists,

“I was really truly speechless,” said Morris, 17. “I never thought it could happen (to) someone who had started so much later than other people and who had so many hurdles to overcome.”

After getting involved in theater around the age of 13, Morris said he was inspired by shows such as “Hamilton” and “Dear Evan Hansen.”

He added that he came a long way from having to borrow a pencil to mark his music in his first theater days, “to actually feel like I found my footing and know what I’m doing, that was really rewarding.”

According to the Jimmy Awards website, there were 20 awards and scholarships given to participants. The program has awarded over $4 million in educational scholarships throughout its history, including six finalists who each received a $3,000 scholarship. To get there, Morris was one of two students nominated from the Broadway San Diego Awards, a competition among local high schools. The other was San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts student Kiara Geolina.

Morris said that performing via Zoom was more challenging, but overall the experience was “rewarding and satisfying.”

“I would recommend it to anyone,” he said.

Morris said he wants to pursue theater professionally.

“The goal is Broadway, as cliche as it is,” he said. “Long story short, I feel like I would be happy doing anything in the world of professional theater. The end goal where I picture myself is Broadway.”