Class of 2020: East Bay high school senior gets celebrity birthday surprise from 'Hamilton' and 'Pixar'

ByReggie Aqui and Eric Shackelford KGO logo
Monday, May 4, 2020
East Bay teen gets celebrity surprises
An East Bay high school senior with autism will miss out on his art scholarship, seeing and meeting "Hamilton" and a trip to Disneyland due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But we couldn't let his birthday pass without a little surprise to boost his spirits.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Jesse Wilson is graduating from Antioch High School with a 4.0 GPA. He was ready to start his college life after getting a scholarship to the San Francisco Art Institute and he was excited to see "Hamilton" and meet the stars behind the musical. That all disappeared as the COVID-19 pandemic took center stage.

Jesse is also on the autism spectrum.

His mother saw that ABC7 is spotlighting students who are graduating - since they won't have an official ceremony. So she wrote into ABC7 and Reggie Aqui decided to reach out to some friends to cheer Jesse up.

RELATED: Student Spotlight 2020: Honoring high school, college seniors

Julius Thomas III, who played Hamilton in San Francisco, and Dan Scanlon who directed "Monsters University" and "Onward" for Pixar, taped messages for Jesse who is celebrating his birthday on May 4.

"Jesse feels so uncelebrated at times," Jesse's mom Velma said. "Parents that have autistic children know they are not the social butterfly, they're socially awkward in some regard. But they're very unique and creative people. They learn differently. They love differently. To see that (video) was very, very, very touching."

Here is a full video showcasing the incredible story of Jesse Wilson:

Watch the full video of Jesse's surprise including a letter from his mother.

RELATED: Class of 2020: Santa Teresa High School parents create signs to honor senior students

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