Larry Wilson Scholarship helps Hunter’s NYC dream

Lisa Goudy
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Courtney Lorn Hunter, 18, has trouble expressing in words how it feels to be going to the New York Film Academy this fall.

“I’ve always wanted to act. I used to watch, when I was younger, Mary Kate and Ashley movies and I always wanted to be on TV. It seemed like just a dream when I was younger, growing up,” she said.

“It was just an idea in my head and now it’s come to life and here I am going to the New York Film Academy … I have a lot of dreams, but I think that just going to the New York Film Academy, that’s a dream come true right there.”

On Sept. 17, she will fly out to New York City for her term that begins on Oct. 1. The adventure is an expensive one, though, and receiving the Lawrence Wilson Scholarship for Drama Award helps out immensely with costs. She was one of three individuals who received a Larry Wilson Scholarship, worth $2,200 each, on Saturday.

“I can’t even honestly say how much I appreciate it. It’ll just help so much with tuition so that’s nice because I won’t have to take out as much from student loans,” said Hunter. “I’m already going to be so much in debt. It helps so much it’s hard to even say how much it helps.”

Hunter won’t be staying in Manhattan, but will instead stay in a dorm in Brooklyn with a 20-minute subway ride to school. It’s the same dorm she stayed in when she was in New York last summer for a month-long acting program at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.

Her first year in pursuit of her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Acting for Film will be acting classes. Her second and third year will be more hands-on work at Universal Studios in California.

“You meet a lot of people in the industry, the ins and outs, how to pretty much be ready how to launch yourself right into the industry when you graduate,” said Hunter.

Getting accepted into the program wasn’t easy. From a written statement to making a video to mailing in two monologues, there were many hurdles to overcome.

“It was super exciting. The day I found out I was excited, but I was kind of like, ‘Wow, Now I have to figure it all out’ because it’s expensive,” said Hunter. “I was a little scared when I found out I was accepted because I didn’t know if it would all work out.”

Hunter is a triplet and also has two older siblings, but she is the only female. Her father died when she was six. Tuition is $31,000 per year, but she got $10,000 off from the school.

With determination and hard work, everything is coming together. She saved up as much money as she could, had some help from family and friends, student loans and she has a student line of credit.

“It’s just come together so perfectly,” said Hunter. “If I dedicate myself to something, I know I have to follow through or push myself to do whatever it is I set my mind to … It pushes me to do my best and succeed.”

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

For more information on the New York Film Academy, go here.

Organizations: New York Film Academy, New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, Universal Studios

Geographic location: California, New York City, Manhattan Brooklyn

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