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Dyslexia Hasn’t Stopped Scholarship Winner

Leanna Lake dancing in a studio with a mask on

We recently caught up with 2019 EdTA scholarship winner Leanna Lake. Since receiving the scholarship, Leanna’s been successfully balancing her schoolwork, a part-time job, and theatre activities at Troy University in Alabama. She’s fulfilling her dream of becoming a theatre educator.

A graduate of Corner High School, Troupe 6639, in Dora, Alabama, Leanna was diagnosed with dyslexia when she was younger. She emphasizes the benefits of theatre education this way: “The most outstanding methods to teach coping and organizational skills are found in the world of theatre.”

Leanna’s been pleasantly surprised to discover how many careers are available in the theatre world beyond just the production. She’s been acquiring as much knowledge as she can to be of greater service to her future students.

Woman in sweats dancing in a studio with a mask onCOVID restrictions shut down the youth theatre program where she was working as a teaching artist, as well as the camp for theatre students where she planned to serve as a counselor over the summer. So Leanna secured a job as a box-office manager on campus. The university theatre program continued to hold performances although audience members were restricted to people within the theatre department.

Leanna took advantage of the opportunity to explore various aspects of theatre and art. She stage managed a dance performance, worked on a film, sharpened her photography skills, and learned how to create art using a 3-D printer.

“I’m so grateful to EdTA for supporting my growth as an artist,” Leanna said. “Everything’s been difficult with COVID, but I haven’t let the pandemic stop me from learning, expressing my art, and working. I’m lucky to be having these experiences because I know it’s been hard for many others.”

Scholarship donor Penny Engelsman is confident Leanna will accomplish her goal to become a theatre teacher. “Leanna is one terrific, hardworking, persevering young lady,” she said. “I’m so proud of her.”


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