FORDHAM, The Bronx (WABC) -- On the second floor of Fordham High School for the Arts, right in the Boogie Down Bronx, Samara Joy blossomed as an artist.
"One of my favorite memories of Samara (was in) A Chorus Line," said drama teacher Linda Key.
In keeping with tradition, Samara Joy McClendon signed the production door 'Samara M.' along with her cast-mates. On Monday, the whole school congratulated the 23-year-old on her two Grammy wins - Best Jazz Vocal Album and Best New Artist.
"To see one of our students win a Grammy, everyone in the Bronx and all the students in our school won," Key added.
"Samara, well-rounded student. Fabulous young lady - she graduated valedictorian of her cohort," said Principal Michael Johnson, Jr.
Her teachers say she was a consummate professional, even back then. She led by modeling excellence by taking the most rigorous academic courses and was in the National Honor Society. She was an Ella Fitzgerald Scholar at SUNY Purchase and went on to tour with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
Samara comes from a musical background - her father is a professional singer and bass player.
It was on TikTok where Samara was elevated to status - and now she is the star of her family and friends back home in the Bronx.
ALSO READ | Brooklyn man mailed ashes of person he's never met in bizarre mishap
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News