The Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation announced Monday (Dec. 14) that Juanes will finance the next four-year Prodigy Scholarship that will fully fund a student’s bachelor’s degree in music at Berklee School of Music starting in the Fall 2021.
“When the Latin Recording Academy reached out with this opportunity, I felt great joy,” the Colombian star tells Billboard. “It took me back to when I was just getting out of high school and I was obsessed with music but I didn’t have the money to study music. Actually, studying music wasn’t even a thing and back then, I didn’t really think studying music would do anything for my future. But now I understand the importance of a music education and that’s why it’s so beautiful to be able to give back.”
The scholarship, created six years ago, holds a maximum value of $200,000 and the application period will be open from Dec. 14 through April 10, 2021. It’s traditionally awarded to an outstanding music student between the ages of 17-24, who demonstrate a passion for Latin music but face severe financial hardships while pursuing a college education.
“This next musical prodigy should be exceptional and I don’t mean that they have to extremely virtuoso but they should have special something,” Juanes adds. “But most importantly they have to love music and be passionate about the craft. Whether you’re studying, practicing, wiring songs, you have to be dedicated 100 percent.”
In addition to the Juanes scholarship there will be 43 other scholarships; three Gifted Tuition scholarships and and 40 Tuition Assistance scholarships for music students admitted to universities of their choice.
In previous years, the Prodigy Scholarship has been co-sponsored by Latin stars including Enrique Iglesias, Juan Luis Guerra, Miguel Bosé, Carlos Vives, Emilio and Gloria Estefan, and Julio Iglesias.