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Youth Development Foundation, Inc. Announces 2004 Shooting Star Award Recipients

Tony Nominee and Emmy Award Winner Among Honorees For Scholarship Benefit

New York, NY - Broadcast legend Hal Jackson and the Youth Development Foundation, Inc. (YDF) will present Tony Award nominee Sheryl Lee Ralph, Emmy and Tony Award winner George Faison, and Entrepreneur Andrea Shell with Shooting Star Awards at the 4th Annual Shooting Star Awards ceremony on Thursday, July 29, 2004 at the Tavern On The Green located at Central Park West and 67th Street in New York City. The event begins at 7 p.m. A limited number of tickets are available for $250 and can be reserved by calling (212) 592-0413. Proceeds will benefit the Hal Jackson's Talented Teens International® Scholarship Competition (HJTTI) and Youth Development Foundation, Inc.

Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, whose long list of credits include Broadway's Thoroughly Modern Millie, Moesha, Designing Women, Sister Act II, and Distinguished Gentleman with Eddie Murphy, received critical acclaim in Michael Bennett's landmark musical, Dreamgirls as Deena Jones. Raised between Long Island, NY and Jamaica, West Indies, Ms. Ralph became the youngest female graduate of Rutgers University at age 19 and was named one of the Top Ten College Women in America by Glamour magazine. An avid fundraiser for the prevention and treatment of Aids, she is also an alumna of HJTTI where she competed in the New York State Finals.

Washington, D.C. native George Faison quickly left his dental studies at Howard University after viewing a performance by The Alvin Ailey Company inspiring him to pursue a career in dance. Faison s credits include Suite Otis set to the music of Otis Redding, Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope, and The Wiz where he won a Tony Award for best choreography. Mr. Faison also won an Emmy Award for his choreography of the HBO special, The Josephine Baker Story.

The final recipient of the evening will be businesswoman and entrepreneur Andrea Shell, owner of Mo' Hair salons in New York City and Florida. Ms. Shell boasts a distinguished clientele and has traveled extensively through the U.S. with the Black Hair Is artistic team. Ms. Shell has volunteered as the exclusive stylist for HJTTI for 23 years and lives by the motto, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

The Shooting Star Awards black tie dinner is just one of the items on tap for Talented Teens International Summit week July 24 August 1 in New York City. On Saturday, July 31st at Aaron Davis Hall at the City College of New York, over 36 Talented Teens from around the world will gather to compete for the prestigious title of Miss Hal Jackson's Talented Teens International 2004. Over $5,000 in educational scholarships, trips abroad and other prizes will be awarded that evening. Sponsors include ICBC Broadcast Holdings, Inc., Right On! Magazine, the Anguilla Tourist Board, the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board, Alken Tours, Ebony Magazine, HSBC Bank, and Fashion Fair Cosmetics.

HJTTI, under the auspices of YDF, is a non-profit tax-exempt organization that Promotes Culture and Education through the Performing Arts. Founded in 1971 by Hal Jackson, legendary radio personality and 2001 Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame inductee, YDF provides a support system for young women which offers exposure, encourages cross-culture exchange, and nurtures emerging talent from around the world while providing training, educational scholarships and travel opportunities. For more information or to become a sponsor, please call (212) 592-0413 or visit

PRESS CONTACT: Kimberly Thomas, 718-857-4150,


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