Passing on tradition: Who’s Got Talent show handed down from NHS to AVID

A spotlight hits the stage in the auditorium as the curtains slowly roll back to a crowd of eager Wildcats. Two emcees walk on stage and introduce the annual talent show as the performers anxiously wait for their cue backstage. To the audience nothing looks out of the norm.

Who’s Got Talent has been a tradition for several years but this year the show is under new leadership. AVID has taken over from NHS. AVID is a college readiness class that helps prepare students for college by teaching them study skills, taking them through the college application process and going on college visits.

“Last year’s NHS sponsor Mrs. Walsh had been running the talent show for years,” AVID teacher Jackie Dillon said. “She could probably put it all together in her sleep, but she moved away. She said the new sponsor didn’t necessarily care whether or not they continued with hosting the talent show, so they decided to hand the show over to us.”

Dillon said that AVID needs money to pay for student’s college applications, SAT waivers, college visits and many other expenses.

“I believe NHS decided to give the show over to AVID because we definitely need the fundraising opportunity,” Dillon said. “We need thousands of dollars to be able to do all of this, whereas other clubs aren’t in need of as much money.”

The AVID program was previously funded by the district, but their budget has been significantly cut over the past few years. The SAT prep program that AVID uses costs $1,000 per 30 students and the SAT itself is $50 times the number of AVID students.

“It all adds up,” Dillon said. “We no longer have the money in our budget for these things so we have to find ways to raise it ourselves. “

AVID is expecting to make $4,000 dollars off of the Who’s Got Talent fundraiser alone.

“It really depends on if we increase the price of tickets or leave the price the same,” Dillon said. “But based on the price NHS sold tickets for last year we have an idea of what to expect. It’s a big undertaking, but I know we can do it.”

Dillon said that AVID has already reserved the date in the theater for the show and the auditions.

“We asked Mr. Arp and his tech crew to help out,” Dillon said. “We really couldn’t do the show without them. We also have a book that was passed down to us from NHS with everything we need in it from the layout of the show to what we need to do each month.”

AVID has recently elected senior Hunter White as Senior Chairman over the Who’s Got Talent
show. White decided to run for chairman because he is also an NHS member and an officer.

“I helped out with the show last year,” White said. “I had to learn how to organize the show and what procedures to take while going through set-up and putting on the show entail.”

The details are still being finalized by the Who’s Got Talent committee at this time, but things are expected to run very similarly to last year’s show.

“AVID just laid down its foundation of officers, so we haven’t been able to set clear procedures of how things will be set up year,” White said. “But we plan to release for information later in the semester.”

White says his advice to any student auditioning is to come prepared.

“I’m looking forward to seeing all the unique talents that will be showcased,” White said. “We want our show to be the best it can be and showcase the best talent that Plano has to offer. Just be yourself and be proud of who you are.”