Honorees

December, 2007

Lee Thompson Young

Actor

“Lee Young’s performance in “A Night of Stars and Dreams'”, at 10 years old, proved prophetic; twelve years later he is an accomplished performing artist and honors graduate of the University of Southern California School of Cinema Television.”

Lee Thompson Young is known by some as “Jett Jackson” from the Disney Channel children’s show, “The Famous Jett Jackson,” others as “Comer” from the football movie, “Friday Nigh Lights,” and still others as Akeelah’s big brother in the popular spelling bee movie, “Akeelah and the Bee.”

The Columbia, South Carolina native received early training in acting at the Workshop Theater, University of South Carolina, Benedict College, Richland County Public Library, Francis Burns United Methodist Church, the Black Family Summit, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia, Phyllis Wheatley Repertoire Theater, and Revelations/Oasis Talent Agency.

He was named Irmo Middle School Student of the Year and won the Optimist Club Oratorical Scholarship before moving with his mom to New York in 1996, to pursue his dream of becoming a professional actor.

The first major role he landed after several auditions was a national McDonald’s commercial, which was followed by a Robitussin commercial that landed him the job as “Jett Jackson,” the leading role in the Disney series that launched his career. Even as he was being recognized as a dedicated and committed actor, Young stayed focused on his academics and was an honors student in the Professional Children’s School, a private school for the arts. He later attended the New York City High School for the Performing Arts and graduated with honors in 2001 with a full scholarship to attend the University of Southern California School (USC) of Cinema Television. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Film & Television Production in 2005.

As a college student Lee maintained his honor roll status while also developing his career. He appeared as a guest star in several television shows including “Jake 2.00,” “Kevin Hill,” “The Guardian,” and “Philly.” He also had major roles in the television movie, “Redemption.” The USC African American Honor Society, the Trustee Scholars Program, and Kappa Alpha Psi, selecting him as National Student of the Year, recognized him for high academic achievement.

Young also landed a major role on “South Beach,” a UPN television series, was a guest star on “Smallville,” and was named “best guest star” by online fans. Having already accomplished the goals he set for himself at age 10, when he wrote a dream proclamation for a Big Brothers Big Sisters stage production, “A Night of Stars and Dreams,” Young is busy crafting new dreams and developing new projects with friends and colleagues in Santa Monica, California where he now lives. He is the son of Velma Love and Tommy Scott Young.