Adora Lora Snead is the recipient of the 2020 NAACP Youth Scholarship and Jacqueline Waugh Foster Scholarship. Adora is the also co-authored the play, The Milly Project, telling the true story of an enslaved woman who successfully fought for her freedom in Greene County only to be dragged into the street and beaten.
Snead estimates that she has played Milly at least 200 times, originating the role at Willard High School. It was performed in Springfield theaters, on college campuses, in churches, and as far away as Mississippi.
“For me, as a brown woman in Springfield, it gives me a lot of confidence,” she said. “It helps me to know that if somebody could do this in the 1830s, I can still persevere and achieve anything I set my mind to today.”
At Willard High, she was involved in choir, theater and speech and debate. A leader, she also provided a student voice as Principal Kevin Morrison worked on policy changes and planned for the future.
Morrison said Snead excelled in fine arts and academics. “She has got a good head on her shoulders. She is going to go places, for sure.
Two years ago, before Snead and her peers wrote the Milly Project, they researched her story. The significant chapter in Springfield history was rediscovered by Connie Yen, the director of the Greene County Archive, and written in a front-page story by former News-Leader reporter Giacomo Bologna.
Her passion for the storytelling project propelled her to apply for the highly competitive music theater program at Missouri State University. She was accepted.
Snead’s academic prowess helped her snag the prestigious Presidential Scholarship at MSU, worth up to $60,000 over four years. Snead’s immediate goal is to get a Bachelor’s degree in Musical Theater with a minor in History. Her long term goal is to become an attorney and wants to work for the Equal Justice Initiative. She graduated with a 4.07 Weighted GPA. Snead sings and plays piano, ukulele and saxophone. She is the daughter of Brad and Amanda Snead.
Learn more about The Milly Project Here: