NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)– The soaring voices of youth, promise, and talent were on full display in honor of two special people.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, the multi-talented star and creator of the Broadway epic “Hamilton,” and his father, Luis Miranda Jr., a longtime leader in the public and private sector and community advocate, were honored for their commitment to social justice and equality.
“Have really humbled me and really overwhelmed me. So thank you for this honor,” Lin-Manuel said.
The young performers are from the nonprofit theater company Girl Be Heard.
The company is a remarkable experience where women, primarily between the ages of 12 and 21 and many living below the poverty line, are given a safe space to share their personal stories through theatrical performance.
“They are my backbone. They are my family. They are my sister,” 17-year-old Jay Fleming told CBS2’s Scott Rapoport.
The group is presenting what they call its “Fairy Godfather” award to Lin Miranda and his father.
The young women and girls say the pair has paved the way for opportunity through their work and given back to their community of Washington Heights.
“Thank you for this tremendous honor. And thank you for giving this award to my Dad. He’s the best,” Lin-Manuel said.
“If there’s anyone who is making the way for more people of color to be on center stage on broadway it is Lin-Manuel and his father,” Jessica Greer Morris, executive director and co-founder of Girl Be Heard, said.
Girl Be Heard has performed in such prestigious places at the United Nations and the White House. But these girls will tell you the ultimate highlight was meeting the famous “Hamilton” star who brought signed copies of his book for all and posed for pictures with each of them.
“My heart is beating like 100 miles a minute,” 22-year-old Jesse Rosekrebs said.
The group even created a special Hamilton-inspired rap performance for Lin-Manuel at the ceremony.
Stars of today, honored by what could be the stars of tomorrow.