The Educational Philanthropic Organization (PEO) Foundation announced on May 5 that Dryden High School Senior Erin Joy Peck is the recipient of the Janet H. Griswold Scholarship. The $ 750 scholarship recognizes “women who demonstrate excellence in leadership, academics, extracurricular activities, community service, and potential for future success.”
Peck was recommended for scholarship by the PEO Chapter B of Newark Valley, NY. PEO is an international organization that has been helping women in the United States and Canada pursue their educational goals through grants, scholarships, prizes, and loans since 1869.
Peck said she was surprised and amazed by the news of winning the scholarship.
“My grandmother is a member of PEO, and she reached out and asked if I would be interested in them sponsoring me,” Peck said. “I thought this was a great opportunity because then they’re basically going to follow me forever now, and I’ll have a group of strong women that I can come back to if I need help and if I do.” need financial support, and they’ll always be there.
One of the top ten GPA students in her class, Peck will attend Drew University in Madison, NJ in the next fall semester, majoring in Theater Arts with a concentration in Stage Management. She said she hoped to work in travel theater after college and set up a youth school for technical theater.
“I really didn’t know [technical theater] up to high school, ”she says. “When I was in seventh grade, I had a senior who really reached out to me and taught me a lot about stage management, and I wish I had had him when I was a kid. So I want to create some kind of program for children to learn technical theater.
Peck has been deeply involved in theater since college, when she first had the opportunity to participate in her school’s theater program.
“When I got in sixth grade, I auditioned and I was little Dope the Dwarf in Into the Woods; I was on stage three times, ”she said. “My mom is the head costume designer in Dryden for the music department, so I helped with high school shows when I was in college.
She eventually began working under the tutelage of the then stage manager and developed a passion for behind-the-scenes work soon after.
“You work with each part; you are in a way the mediator as a manager, ”she said. “You work with the actors; we work with each different director, and we do every little part… I love it all. Stage management is kind of a way to bring it all together. I like being in the back and a little secretive, and people don’t really think about the manager and everything he does, and I kinda like being in the back and running everything.
In addition to the Janet H. Griswold Fellowship, Peck also received last spring the University of Rochester’s Xerox Prize for Technology and Innovation, which is awarded to individuals who demonstrate “a strong interest in innovation and innovation. / or information technology and a high level of success. in this area, ”according to the university’s website. (Peck didn’t end up accepting the award as she ultimately chose to attend Drew University.) She also received the Cortland Repertory Theater Pavilion Award for Technical Theater in 2020 due to her work as a stage manager for the production of the Seussical school.
Peck’s interest in the arts also persisted outside of school. At one point, she exhibited photographs at the Arnot Art Museum in Elmira, NY. She is also a member of Running to Places, a theater company located in downtown Ithaca, where she used her stage management skills. During her three years with the company, she worked four different shows, some on stage as an actor and others off stage as assistant stage manager or chief stage manager.