Help me go to Juilliard!

For: William Leathers
Toronto, ON, Canada
Organizer: Andray Domise
Help me go to Juilliard! (William Leathers)
of $260,000 goal
38% Complete
Raised by 1846 donors

The Story

UPDATE: After speaking with donors and family, I'm going to keep the fundraiser open, as well as donate 10% of all proceeds towards creating a scholarship fund for other young artists. If we can beat the 4-year tuition goal ($260,000) every dollar raised above that amount will go towards the scholarship.

Thanks so much for your help! We've raised enough to cover my first year of school! Please click here to view my "Thank You" video.

My name is William Franklyn Leathers, and I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I've been playing the piano since the age of four, and when I was 12 years old, I became the youngest trumpeter accepted into the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, as well as the Halton Mississauga Youth Orchestra. So it was a dream come true for me when I received my acceptance letter to The Juilliard School, since I'm one of only three trumpeters that were accepted to Juilliard this year.

The biggest challenge for me, right now, is being able to cover tuition and housing expenses. My parents are doing their best, but right now we're in a bit of a funding shortfall. The total cost for Juilliard is $71,000 in US dollars per year for four years, which comes out to roughly $91,000 every year in Canadian dollars. We've been able to put together about $25,500 so far, and unfortunately scholarships and grants are harder to come by as an international student. So I'm raising money to at least cover the first year, and we'll see where it goes from there.

I've wanted to go to Juilliard for as long as I can remember, and I'll never forget the look on my parents' face when we opened the acceptance letter. But the reality is, there's a pretty big gap between what our family can come up with, and what it costs for tuition, housing, and books. So if you can find it in your heart to help, my family and I would appreciate it so much.

Thanks again, and I hope to make everyone proud!

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on May 25, 2018


Posted on May 25, 2018

Hi generous donors and friends,

First, I’d like to thank you all again. We’re one third of the way there!

If you have the space this weekend, I'd like to invite you to a special fundraiser. If you’re in and around the Toronto Area on Saturday May 26th, I will be performing at the Jazz Bistro at 8:30, along with a roster of jazz and classical trumpeters. Details below:

On Saturday May 26th at 8:30pm, Sybil Walker, Céline Peterson, and Molly Johnson are proud to present a very special fundraising event for William Leathers, a 17-year old Mississauga trumpet player, who was recently accepted into the prestigious Juilliard School. 

The tuition for an institution of this stature is quite overwhelming, but with support from some of the city's finest artists and YOU, our patrons, we hope to be able to raise enough money to ease the financial burden for William and his family. 

The evening will feature performances from trumpeters Alexander Brown, Chase Sanborn, John Pittman, Marie Goudy, Chris Cigolea, Howard Leathers, Kevin Turcotte, as well as some other very special guests, and we are thrilled to share that our rhythm section for the evening will be the Robi Botos Trio! 


251 Victoria St, Toronto, ON

Posted on May 2, 2018


Posted on May 2, 2018

Thank you so much!

I’d like to say thanks to all of you who have contributed to helping me attend Julliard. My parents and I have been overwhelmed by your response. Getting this kind of help was not something we planned for, but once news got out through media and word of mouth, you stepped up with kindness and generosity. 

My parents and I really thought hard about what to do if we were able to raise enough to cover my first year's fees. I appreciate the support, and I know there are so many other young people who need help, just like I do. So I'm pledging to create a scholarship fund, and will donate 10% of everything I raise through this crowdfunder. If we somehow manage to raise enough to cover all four years, I will be donating that extra amount to the scholarship fund as well.

Fundraising like this is an area I'm completely new to, so if there are people who work in education and nonprofit fundraising that can help us put this program together, we would very much appreciate your guidance.

For everyone who donated, whether small or large amounts, the idea that you are giving your resources to some 17-year-old you've never met is humbling. I was especially moved by those who gave even $5 to help, and that's going to stick with me. Maybe it was your pocket or lunch money. Maybe you had been saving it for something special. Maybe that’s all you had. I don’t know, but it really matters to me.

To all of you who gave, and are still giving, thank you! On those days at school when things get tough, your kindness and belief in me will get me through. 


William Leathers

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