Student Spotlight: Kaden Hawkins

Now 17 years old, Kaden Hawkins has loved the performing arts since joining his local community theater at age 6.

“At that time, I was an extremely shy kid,” Kaden said. “Learning to perform onstage in front of others gave me so much confidence in speaking to people, and [contributed] to the leadership roles I’ve had throughout grade school and on into high school.”

He’s currently a company member in our Four Counts performance group, supported by AdventHealth—and recently had the chance to sing the national anthem with three other members during our Steinmetz Hall opening ceremony.

On top of participating in The Four Counts, Kaden was an Outstanding Performer in our 2021 Applause Awards, also supported by AdventHealth.

“I had the opportunity to work with spectacular artistic, choreography and music directors here at the Dr. Phillips Center for an intensive two weeks, which I thoroughly enjoyed,” Kaden said about his Applause Awards experience. “I was so impressed by how professionally they ran their productions and the talented performers they selected. After that experience, I knew I needed to continue my training at the Dr. Phillips Center. I’ve embraced every opportunity since…”

Working hard is certainly something Kaden is familiar with—he’s even been able to learn from industry pros in master classes at our AdventHealth School of the Arts.

“I am excited to continue my training here,” he said. “…Especially as it relates to dancing and picking up choreography quickly—an area I’m really focused on learning as much as I can to help me prepare for my upcoming musical theater college auditions.”

As he preps for the future, his passion and drive are sure to lead him to some pretty great places in life.

“I think my favorite aspect of the performing arts,” Kaden added, “is ultimately being part of something where you get to tell a story and take people away from their everyday lives, take them on a journey, and make them feel something that they will remember and, hopefully, make a positive impact on the lives of others.”

Help Us Impact More Students

Our educational programs are made possible with the help of generous donors.

To find out how you can support incredible initiatives, email our development team.