Killeen: Teen wins $25K scholarship in 'America to Me' contest

KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) William Wilson says he had never won a contest before.

The 17-year-old senior at Ellison High School almost missed his chance for this contest.

But, it was chance that knocked on his door that landed the teen in the national spotlight and a recipient of Starz’s “America to Me - Share Your Voice” contest, which landed him a $25,000 scholarship.

Growing up, Wilson went to Saegert Elementary, Charles Patterson Middle School and spent recreational time at the Boys and Girls Club of Killeen.

This, of course, on top of spending time with his parents and brother.

The America to him was shaped by experiences as a young boy – which led him to the first part of his video submission.

“We’re a work in progress as a nation. We still have things that we need to work on,” he said. “We need to go back to those days that we would just play without thinking about who they are as a person or ‘they have this on’ or ‘they are not up to par with my standards.’”

So, how did he find out about the contest?

“My god-mother had sent me a message after school one day and I clicked on the link and I thought it was very interesting. But, I was really nervous to do it,” Wilson said.

With the push from his mom, teachers and friends, he finally submitted the video and made all the appropriate hashtags on Instagram so the right people at Starz could find it. He also had to make sure that people knew to vote for him.

Just a couple weeks ago, Wilson received the news he had been hoping for.

“I was at church and I went on the website and saw that I was the winner. So, I screenshot it and sent it to my parents and they went up to pastor and showed pastor,” he said. “I wasn’t going to cry at first but then pastor had, Jesus, he had told me to come up there. I started bawling. My face was ugly, it was so…it was nasty.”

After graduation, Wilson plans to keep on his journey and take on the stars in Hollywood. He also plans to attend AMDA Performing Arts School in Los Angeles – a renowned school for acting.

He is one step closer to living his dreams and perhaps next to some of his big screen idols.