First recipient Susan Rohn, the Executive Director of the Yocum Institute for Arts Education
On May 22, 2021, Susan Rohn, the executive Director of the Yocum Institute for Arts Education, became its first recipient of the Peg Schumo Inspiration Award in a surprise award ceremony at the 10th Dancing with the Reading Stars event at Stokesay Castle.
Peg Schumo, who passed away in 2019, was a staunch supporter of the Yocum Institute. In an effort to honor her memory and her dedication to the Yocum Institute, the Peg Schumo Inspiration Award was created by her daughter, Cynthia Schumo Lynn, to recognize a member of the Yocum Institute staff who not only instills a sense of joy and a love of the arts in the Yocum Institute’s students and patrons but who exhibits kindness and gratitude in doing so. The award includes a Two Thousand Dollar check and a handmade glass vase inscribed “YOU INSPIRE”
Peg Schumo, who was instrumental in helping the Yocum Institute obtain its new home at 3000 Penn Avenue, West Lawn, PA, believed that children, as well as adults of all ages, should be made to feel valued and encouraged to live their best lives. She further believed that inspiring freedom of artistic
expression, whether it be through dance, art, music, or theater, magnifies one’s joy and purpose.
“Susan Rohn, is the perfect person to be the first recipient of this annual award because she inspired my mother with the kindness and gratitude she exhibits in all aspects of her life,” said Cynthia Schumo Lynn, Peg Schumo’s daughter and Yocum Board of Directors member. “She is always upbeat no matter what problem she is facing.”
Susan Rohn, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from PSU, and completed master classes in Philanthropy and Development from St. Mary’s University, will celebrate her 17th anniversary as the Executive Director this October.
“Susan is one of those special leaders who inspires the Yocum Institute staff and its supporters by making them feel heard and understood. Because she never sees any challenge as too big and shows gratitude for the help of others in conquering those challenges, Susan draws the best performances out of those around her,” said Cynthia Schumo Lynn.
“We were disappointed when last year’s Dancing with the Reading Stars had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 because it delayed us in honoring Peg Schumo’s memory by giving this award. Peg was a remarkable lady who showed such kindness to the Yocum Institute. We are grateful to have had her
support and we are delighted that every year will have an excuse to remind others how special she was when this award is conferred,” remarked Susan N. Denaro, President of the Yocum Board of Directors.
“The appropriateness of Susan’s selection as the first recipient was magnified at least ten-fold during the pandemic. Susan’s perseverance and resourcefulness helped use weather all the unusual challenges last year presented. Peg had to be smiling down on her as she did so because through it all, Susan kept her sense of humor and kept reminding us that the glass was at least half full,” said Denaro. “Just as we were blessed to have Peg Schumo in our corner, we’re very lucky to have Susan Rohn as our director.”