Insights from Kennedy Jenkins and Parker Collier: How COCA’s Pre-Professional Division Shaped Their Artistic Journeys

COCA’s Pre-Professional Division (PPD) program offers training in dance, voice, and theatre for talented students. As the upcoming PPD auditions approach, we want to showcase two students who have excelled in their programs: Kennedy Jenkins and Parker Collier.

Kennedy Jenkins in Ranked, The Musical

Kennedy Jenkins is a senior who has been a part of COCA for almost three years. She has participated in Vocal Company, Improv Troupe, and COCAwrites, as well as productions including Four Little Girls: Birmingham 1963 and Matilda, among many others.

Throughout her time at COCA, Kennedy has gained self-confidence and the knowledge of navigating performance environments.

“I’ve really grown at COCA, they’ve made me make bigger choices, and believe in myself more, gave me confidence. […] COCA is very unique in a way that it is fun and you enjoy yourself. But it prepares you for the real world and how it will be when you get older. You get to work with adults and get advice from them,” says Kennedy.  

Kennedy is graduating high school and plans to study musical theatre at Webster University.

Parker Collier in Big Machine

Parker Collier has been part of COCA since he was six years old, starting with Summer Arts Camps. Over time, he has been involved as a Pre-Professional Division student in COCAwrites and has participated in musicals and theatre classes.

“COCA has impacted me by getting me into the arts. I was not a social person. I kept to myself a lot. Once I joined COCA, it forced me into a group of like-minded people. […] Without COCA, I probably wouldn’t have found some of the things I am most interested in,” says Parker. 

Parker describes COCA as a unique place that creates a sense of home through the community that surrounds him. 

If you or someone you know is interested in joining COCA’s Pre-Professional Division, register for our upcoming auditions for COCAwrites, Allegro Vocal Company, and COCA Improv Troupe.