The annual Stein Family College Scholarship of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation was recently awarded to Emily Myers, a soon-to-be graduate of Tallwood High School in Virginia Beach.
Myers is the 12th recipient of the four-year scholarship, which provides up to $10,000 per year to a Jewish student in Tidewater.
The Stein Family College Scholarship was established in 2009 in memory of Arlene Stein, who did not complete college because of financial hardship. Arlene passed away in 2007 and Jerry Stein, her beloved husband, in 2014. TJF works closely with the Stein family each year to administer the scholarship.
“Being awarded the Stein Family Scholarship means getting to carry out Arlene Stein’s legacy of tikkun olam from a college stage,” says Myers.
For Myers, that collegiate stage will be the world-renowned Shenandoah Conservatory at Shenandoah University, where she will study musical theater.
“I knew I wanted to pursue musical theater when I was eight,” she says.
Whether it was reenacting a Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader chant for her family, working with her theater group, or attending the Governor’s School for the Arts, Myers has made a lifelong connection with musical theater. In addition to appearing in various productions, such as Beauty and the Beast and Thoroughly Modern Millie, she also volunteers at Virginia Musical Theater, working behind the scenes of productions gaining valuable leadership and professional experience. Myers says her family doesn’t see her doing anything else.
“My mom says it’s in my soul,” says Myers. “I can’t not do it. I just love it a lot.”
Myers is also active in the community. She’s on the youth board for the Sister Cities Association of Virginia Beach, which fosters people-to-people exchanges and relationships with Virginia Beach and its sister cities. She’s also an advocate for mental illness, serves on the board of Helping Orphans Latin America, and was a member of B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO).
“I served on the chapter board of BBYO,” says Myers. “I helped organize our big day of charity. We made blankets and collected canned goods for the Samaritan House, which was a really great experience.”
As Myers transitions from high school graduate to college freshman, she’s already looking forward to the new experiences she’ll have at the Shenandoah Conservatory.
“I’m really looking forward to finding a new community because the musical theater department is going to be so small,” she says.
“It’s going to become a family, we’re all going to become really tight-knit, and we’re all going to make art together. I’m excited to have new experiences.”
Ultimately, Myers hopes to use her college platform and musical theater experience to do something meaningful.
“The dream, of course, is Broadway,” says Myers. “Something that is really important throughout my career is to bring awareness to the different causes that I am championing. I’d love to do something focused on music and dance, like organizing people-to-people exchange trips.”
For now, the aspiring Broadway star is, more than anything, thankful.
“Thank you to the committee for believing in me and for giving me this opportunity,” she says. “Thank you for helping me not let my circumstances define my future.”
Prior recipients of the scholarship include Morgan Conley (Brandeis University ’13), Eric Smith (University of Virginia ’14), Marissa Arager (George Mason University ’15), Avi Malkin (College of William and Mary ’16), Dinar Yusufov (James Madison University ’17), Amanda Gladstone (Virginia Tech ’18), Dana Cohen (Virginia Tech ’19), Brett Pomerantz (Virginia Tech ’20), Sydney Levine (University of Virginia ’21), and Lucie Waldman (attended Franklin and Marshall), and Faith White (Kent State University, ’23).
For more information and to apply for next year’s Stein Family Scholarship, contact Ann Swindell, Tidewater Jewish Foundation Donor Relations and Grant manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-965-6111.