FAYETTE - High school seniors competed for scholarship money at Central Methodist University by showcasing their talents Friday. Students performed under the categories of praise music, vocals, piano, theatre and theatre design.
CMU's divison of Fine and Performing Arts sponsored the event where students were required to fill out essays and perform in front of judges and a small audience.
University employee DaSean Stokes came up with the idea of holding Central's Got Talent. He said the university reached out to donors who covered most of the cost of the scholarships.
He said CMU gives students an opportunity to showcase their skills, no matter where they are in their studies.
"I think it gives them a sense of belonging and a sense of being a part of something bigger than themselves. So they can bring what they have to offer to this group whether they're freshman or a senior," Stokes said.
In order to participate in the competition, students had to have scored at least a 22 on the ACT, and have a GPA of 3.3.
For this first Central's Got Talent, 23 students participated. Everyone who performed got some amount of scholarship money for CMU.
Ezechiel Daos from Waynesville, Missouri, was an overall winner with his vocal performance.
He said it is just as important for universities to offer scholarships for students with musical abilities as it is for student athletes.
"Just like sports, we put in hard work to get to where we are today with all the fine arts that people do, from music to band, theatre, art, all that stuff," Daos said.
DaSean said, after the success of Central's Got Talent, the staff is already looking at how it can expand the event next year.