At age 16, while many high school students are focused on getting a driver’s license, Kidsburgh Hero Mikayla Davic has loftier ambitions.
The sophomore at Baldwin High School set her sights on achieving two major accomplishments by the time she graduates: First, to raise $50,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and second, to gain admission to a prestigious university like NYU, UCLA or USC to study film, screenwriting and playwriting.
Mikayla is already well on her way to reaching both goals, having collected more than $27,000 for Make-A-Wish from stage musicals she wrote and directed at her high school to benefit the agency that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.
She plans to formally present a check to the foundation for an additional $10,000 sometime in February from her latest production. “Paradise” was presented earlier this month to a combined audience of 1,150 supporters, featuring 47 cast members ranging from preschool age through 12th grade.
Mikayla says she’s always been driven to write, act and sing. As a second grader, she was cast as a munchkin in Baldwin High School’s production of “The Wizard of Oz.” In fourth grade, she performed in “Children of Eden” at the high school. By the time she was a student at Harrison Middle School, she had written and directed performances of her first musical, “A Not So Magical Story,” as her seventh-grade gifted project.
The performances of her 2014 fall show raised more than $8,000, “which was enough to send two families to Disney World,” according to the aspiring young playwright.
Her second musical, titled “Murder on 34th Street,” made its debut on the Baldwin High stage in January 2015. The production brought her total contributions to Make-A-Wish to $17,200.
Mikayla chose the Make-A-Wish Foundation as a recipient of the profits from ticket sales, she says, because she was looking for a charity that gives hope and happiness to children battling illnesses. Make-A-Wish was a perfect fit. She invites Make-A-Wish kids to attend her productions and always gives them front-row seats, where they are treated “like royalty.”
Her parents are understandably proud of her enthusiasm and commitment.
“It’s great to watch her blossom,” says dad, Michael Davic, about the youngest of his five children. “She is so passionate about her work.”
He attributes Mikayla’s success in part to her mother Jill, who read to her daughter since she was very young.
“My wife always stressed how important it is to read,” he says.
The teen’s efforts are helping the foundation give children confidence, excitement, and hope in the face of illness, says Dana Antkowiak, marketing/communications manager for Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
“Fundraisers like Mikayla’s help make this possible,” Antkowiak says. “We could not be more impressed with her poise, her diligence and her devotion to our mission and the kids we serve. We are so grateful for her continued support and can’t wait to see what next year holds!”
Mikayla is already at work on next year’s script and music. She plans to announce details on her website in February.