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Weaver Academy guitarist is one of 14 finalist competing for $10,000

Reuben Akins is a senior at Weaver Academy. He's also a finalist in the national James Stroud Classical competition

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Do you remember when you first discovered what you were passionate about? Well, one Weaver Academy senior guitar student has turned his passion for classical guitar into a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Today we went to Weaver Academy to find out how strumming the strings could possibly turn into a big-time payday. 

Reuben Akins isn't your typical high school senior. Not only is he a part of the guitar studies program at Weaver Academy, but he's one of the very best high school guitarists in the country. 

"Strangely now that I think about it, most people don't start off playing the classical guitar, but that's what interested m the most when I first started playing," said Akins. 

Reuben has been playing guitar for just about half of his life, and he's loved every moment of it. 

"I practice a lot and put a lot of work in even when I'm done practicing. Playing the guitar isn't always practicing. Even when I just want to have some fun, it occupies what I do for fun and what I do working on stuff."

All that hard work has landed Reuben in the semifinals of the James Stroud Classical guitar competition, and the winner walks away with $10,000.

Even if he hadn't made it this far in the competition, Reuven's teacher Mr. Lui says he already knew Reuben was one of a kind. 

"He's a real storyteller which makes people want to listen to him play, and I think he's a uniquely musical individual."

Akins told me, even if he wasn't being recognized as one of the best guitarists in the nation, he would still be doing what he loves.

"It's just one of those things I like doing. Even if I didn't play guitar at school or enter competitions or anything it's just something I like doing. It's so much fun."