ABC New Canaan Scholar, Class of 2010
NYU Tisch School for the Arts, 2014
Host Family: Marianne and Richard Grandin
Acclaimed actor Jelani Alladin has come a long way from his days as an ABC scholar at New Canaan High School. Since graduating from NYU’s Tisch School for the Arts in 2014, Jelani has made a name for himself on both stage and screen – most recently in the role of Marcus Gaines in the Showtime limited series Fellow Travelers, set to air in fall 2023. His list of television credits includes well-known shows such as The Walking Dead: World Beyond, FBI, and Law and Order: SVU, and he has appeared in many feature films, including Respect, Beneath the Fold, and Tick Tick Boom, a film directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda. In addition to voicing audiobooks and commercials, Jelani has also excelled on stage. In his Broadway debut as “Kristoff” in Disney’s Frozen, he earned not only a Drama Desk nomination for Best Leading Actor but also a Drama League nomination for Distinguished Performance.
“I owe a huge part of my success to ABC New Canaan, New Canaan High School, and the community of New Canaan. There is no amount of thank you’s that could adequately express the gratitude I have for the teachers, guidance counselors, tutors, family, friends, host families, and board members who have supported my journey. The long nights of homework, the sweat and tears put into afterschool activities, the giving of myself in community service…it was all worth it!”