2014 Kudzu Playhouse Scholarship Winners
Kudzu’s 2014 scholarship winners have literally grown up together in the theatre. Both have drawn unique benefits from their experiences, in addition to becoming life-long friends.
Payden Taylor and Olivia Zeringue started performing on-stage in Kidzu shows many years ago at the encouragement of family and friends. While both admit they enjoyed their time in the footlights, they quickly realized they were more comfortable, and had much more to offer, behind the scenes. Using the skills and experience gained from being on-stage, both have built impressive resumes behind the scenes, in addition to nurturing and honing their dreams and plans for the future. Kudzu Playhouse is proud to support both of these energetic young women as they pursue their dreams.
Payden Taylor is the daughter of James and Joi Taylor of Hernando and a graduate of Hernando High School. She is enrolled at The University of Mississippi where she is pursuing a degree in Elementary Education with plans to obtain a master’s degree in counseling. She is also a member of the Pride of the South color guard at Ole Miss. Says Taylor, “My ever-growing appreciation for the differences that make each of us special that I gained through my years with Kudzu has helped me develop a patience that I never expected I could possess. I find myself drawn to help and work with individuals who others may avoid just because they are different.”
Olivia Zeringue is the daughter of Sean and Susan Zeringue of Southaven and a homeschool graduate. She is enrolled at Northwest Mississippi Community College and will be attending Mississippi State University. She is also a Non-Commissioned Officer for the DeSoto Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol. When asked about how her experience with Kudzu has helped her, Zeringue says, “Kudzu has taught me the value of volunteering in my community, even when the spotlight is not directed at me. I think this is the most important lesson of all.”
Kudzu’s scholarship program provides up to two scholarships each year to local youths. The primary criteria is involvement in Kudzu Playhouse productions, fundraising and promotion; however, students are also evaluated on other accomplishments or activities including non-Kudzu theater/performance experience, academic achievement, leadership, and community service.