The grants are inspired by the new NBC show "Rise" which chronicles a high school theater program and will debut after This Is Us.

The R.I.S.E. (Recognizing and Inspiring Student Expression) was created by NBC to award $500,000 in grants to 50 high schools with theater programs to mark the debut of the show. The schools that applied to had to submit a video and a 500-word essay about how they'd use the money.

NBC and the Educational Theatre Foundations said that seeing the needs of the schools was a wake-up call, and likened the need back to their OWN theatre programs growing up.

I love this so much. If you're like Pat, you can make fun of high school theatre as much as you want, but it's vital to so many students and educators. For me, it built confidence. Congrats, Hamtramck!

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