One of only 12 to be accepted to NYC performing arts school which trained Kevin Spacey and Robin Williams - but Tring teen Kaine's dreams could be dashed by funding crisis
A teenager from Tring is one of only 12 people in the world to be accepted to the prestigious Juilliard School of Performing Arts in New York City.
But 18-year-old Kaine Ward’s dreams of joining the legendary school which trained the likes of Christopher Reeve, Kevin Spacey and Robin Williams are now hanging by a thread.
Kaine has already shown his potential by playing the role of Billy Elliott in London's West End; he has been training nonstop for the last 8 years in Tring in the hope of taking his dreams that one step further.
This February Kaine applied for a place at this exclusive school. Over 1,200 people applied worldwide and Kaine was one of only 12 boys to make it through the grueling auditions and be offered a place.
However, the costs to take up this position are unfortunately beginning to look out of reach for Kaine.
He has been working every available moment between his own studies, as a lifeguard at Sportspace, and as proud as his family are, his mum Christine Strong's wage as an NHS worker is less than the Â£30,000 required to secure the place on the course.
He is unfortunately not eligible for either a UK or a US grant to help plug the financial gap.
So although Kaine has proved himself to have the talent needed to compete in New York with the very best dancers around the world, unless he manages to raise the necessary finances to pay for his place, his position on this course looks as if it might go begging.
The first semester bill was more than the family were accounting for too, leading Kaine to make the difficult decision to set up a Go Fund Me page in a bid to still make it to New York.
He said: "With privilege, comes a price... Even after being awarded a scholarship worth $30,000, a remaining Â£30,000 is still required for me to attend the school for just one year towards a four year ‘Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree’ course.
"This amount is more than my mum earns each year making it virtually impossible for me to reach the financial needs of the school on our own. "I have been working as a lifeguard for the past two years alongside spending my holidays and breaks at school working for our associate programs to help accumulate some money to put towards my training.
"Also, at the age of 11, I played the part of Billy Elliot in London's West End, these funds, alongside everything that my family can offer still doesn’t come close to the total cost required. Unfortunately I am also unable to take out a student loan from either country, as I will be on a student visa and not attending school in the United Kingdom."
To help Kaine achieve his goal go to https://www.gofundme.com/help-send-kaine-to-juilliard