VIDEO: Watch the Stars of NBC's RISE Award R.I.S.E. America Project Grants to High Schools Nationwide

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Auli'i Cravalho and Damon J. Gillespie are on hand to award R.I.S.E. America Project grants to high schools across the country, ensuring some dreams really do come true.

Fifty high schools have risen above 1,000 applicants to claim NBC's R.I.S.E. America grants. The program - inspired by the network's upcoming drama "Rise" about a high school theatre department and its effects on a small town - is awarding half million dollars to high school theatre programs across the country.

Through R.I.S.E. (Recognizing and Inspiring Student Expression) America, NBC has awarded each of the 50 winning schools with a $10,000 grant that will cover the critical needs of their theatre programs ranging from production expenses to technical equipment and master classes. NBC is facilitating the program in partnership with the Education Theatre Foundation (ETF), a non-profit organization dedicated to shaping lives through theatre education.

To qualify for the grant, high schools were required to have an existing theatre program or a champion of theatre arts in their teaching staff in cases where a school's theatre program was cut because of budget constraints.

Each school submitted a video celebrating their theatre program and a 500-word essay explaining why their school should be awarded the grant and how they will use the $10,000 should they win. They also submitted a letter of recommendation from a school principal or administrator endorsing the application.

The 50 winning high schools (in alphabetical order by state) are:

Charles Henderson High School (Troy, AL)

American Canyon High School (American Canyon, CA)

Henry J. Kaiser High School (Fontana, CA)

Mariposa County High School (Mariposa, CA)

Vaughn Next Century Learning Center (San Fernando, CA)

Seaside High School (Seaside, CA)

Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy (Denver, CO)

Enfield High School (Enfield, CT)

School Without Walls (Washington, D.C.)

Hallandale High School (Hallandale Beach, FL)

Plant City High School (Plant City, FL)

The Howard School (Atlanta, GA)

Nanakuli High and Intermediate School (Waianae, HI)

Jefferson High School (Cedar Rapids, IA)

Glenbard West High School (Glen Ellyn, IL)

Scecina Memorial High School (Indianapolis, IN)

Leavenworth High School (Leavenworth, KS)

Boyle County High School (Danville, KY)

Alfred Bonnabel Magnet Academy High School (Kenner, LA)

The Baltimore City College (Baltimore, MD)

Hamtramck High School (Hamtramck, MI)

Pine Island High School (Pine Island, MN)

Grand Center Arts Academy (St. Louis, MO)

Gautier High School (Gautier, MS)

Park High School (Livingston, MT)

Malcolm Public Schools, District 148 (Malcolm, NE)

Belmont High School (Belmont, NH)

Bound Brook High School (Bound Brook, NJ)

Union Senior High School (Union, NJ)

Digital Arts & Technology Academy (Albuquerque, NM)

Equipo Academy East Las Vegas College Prep (Las Vegas, NV)

Hastings High School (Hastings-On-Hudson, NY)

Peekskill High School (Peekskill, NY)

James N Gamble Montessori (Cincinnati, OH)

Dublin Scioto High School (Dublin, OH)

Henryetta High School (Henryetta, OK)

Regis St. Mary Catholic School (Stayton, OR)

Harry S. Truman High School (Levittown, PA)

Mastery Charter Schools Foundation (Philadelphia, PA)

Central Falls High School (Central Falls, RI)

Deubrook Area School District 5-6 (White, SD)

Jackson County High School (Gainesboro, TN)

John Overton Comprehensive High School (Nashville, TN)

Alice High School (Alice, TX)

Jack Yates High School (Houston, TX)

Pharr San Juan Alamo North Early College High School (Pharr, TX)

Heritage High School (Leesburg, VA)

Rainier Beach High School (Seattle, WA)

Hudson High School (Hudson, WI)

Martinsburg High School (Martinsburg, WV)

About "Rise"

From Jason Katims, executive producer and showrunner of "Friday Night Lights" and "Parenthood," and "Hamilton" producer Jeffrey Seller comes a heartening new drama about finding inspiration in UNEXPECTED places. When dedicated teacher Lou Mazzuchelli (Josh Radnor) sheds his own self-doubt and takes over the school's lackluster theater department, he galvanizes not only the faculty and students but the entire working-class town. The series stars Josh Radnor, Rosie Perez, Auli'i Cravalho, Damon J. Gillespie, Marley Shelton, Rarmian Newton, Ted Sutherland, Amy Forsyth, Casey W. Johnson, Taylor Richardson, Joe Tippett and Shirley Rumierk.

Jason Katims serves as creator and executive producer. Jeffrey Seller, Flody Suarez and Michelle Lee executive produce.

"Rise" is produced by Universal Television, True Jack Productions and Seller Suarez Productions. It premieres on NBC on March 13 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Visit for more information.

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