The sweet sounds from Gina Williamson’s violin first caught the attention of our FOX 26 camera on Tuesday. Armed with her instrument and a dream of the silver screen, the 22-year-old actress has been playing on Houston street corners for months to pay for drama school.
Williamson was one of the select few to be accepted into the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. But when her father was laid off, her dream all but died. Tuition is more than $19,000 a year.
“It’s really cool to realize that people will just reach out to people they’ve never met,” said Williamson.
A local foundation, which wishes to remain anonymous, wants Gina to stop fiddling around with her violin, and donated more than $17,000 towards her tuition!
“When he said that I was kind of like, huh? Like, I don’t even think it’s hit me yet,” she said.
There is one condition to the generous donation. Once she makes it big she’ll donate the money back so other people with dreams can be helped.
“It’s the least I could do,” said Williamson.
Williamson’s story also resonated with Bellaire business owner Katie Koenig, who chipped in with $1,000 donation.
“It’s fun to make money, but it’s more fun to have the money to give to someone who needs it,” said Koenig.
And Williamson needs it now! Classes start on Wednesday in New York.
The generosity from Houston is something Williamson will never forget and has given her even more reasons to dream big.
“It doesn’t matter who you are, if you’re rich, poor, black, white, skinny, fat, you can do whatever you want,” she said. “Thank you Houston, Texas!