Detroit acting student accepted to Oxford program, needs help to go

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Twenty-year-old Yasmeen Duncan is a talented actress with a ton of personality and enthusiasm to match.

"I love it - I love it so much," she said.

She found her passion through her time at a church acting camp to her many years, and performances with the Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit 

"That was the place where I really got a lot of my training and really developed a passion for acting there," she said. "And from then on I was like this is what I want to do."

It propelled her to pursue her dream, studying theatre in college at Central Michigan University. Just a sophomore, she's already starred in several performances and has even written her own scripts.

"I was like wow, I'm in college and I'm doing a college production, it was my first one - so I was very excited about it," she said.

But there was something about college that was bothering Yasmeen - something she wasn't seeing when she looked around - there weren't many people who looked like her.

"I saw the lack of diversity in the theatre department at CMU and I wanted to bring more diversity to the department," she said.

So she formed the multicultural Equitable Theatre Alliance to encourage other students of all ethnicities and colors and come to the theater.

"Just letting everyone know, you can audition for these things, you can be in these things," Yasmeen said. "Don't be afraid to not do it, because you feel like you're not fitting."

It is that kind of determination and passion that now has Yasmeen pursuing another project. She's been accepted into a prestigious Shakespeare program at the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, England for the summer.

"I've had a few friends go and they've had great experiences so when I heard about it, I was like, I have to go," she said.

So she auditioned and made the cut. Now she's going, if only she can raise the $7,000 due next month. She was told she'll be the first Central Michigan University student accepted into the program in at least 30 years.

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