Women Helping Women Reach for the Stars
By JOEL J. PLUE
The local chapter of the Philanthropic Educational Organization has been a strong force behind the mission of women helping women achieve academic success in Otsego County since 1963.
Cindy Korb, president of the Oneonta-based PEO chapter, is proud of the many accomplishments and awards made possible to deserving women of not just Otsego County but the entire state.
“The New York State PEO has a needs-based fund known as the Janet H. Griswold Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship awards female residents of New York State. Recipients receive no less than $750.00. Last year, we were able to utilize these funds to aid three young ladies of Otsego County,” Korb said.
The Oneonta chapter has access to federal and state scholarship funds, but also has its own scholarship.
“We have our own local award called the Helen Zimmerman PEO Chapter Award. Through these funds, we recently awarded a $500.00 grant to a young lady who is now attending the Oneonta BOCES LPN program,” she explained.
Korb assists with many PEO fundraising activities and events, and also oversees the local chapter’s charitable efforts to help members of the community.
“Our primary goal is education of women, but we also like to do local charitable work,” Korb continued. “We have supported the Angel Network of Cooperstown for the past three years. Last year, we bought personal hygiene items for the homeless in our community. We gave the items to Catholic Charities to give out to those in need.”
Korb has been an active member of PEO for many years now, and not just in Otsego County. She was pleased to learn when she moved to the area that there was a local chapter and she would be able to continue her life’s mission of helping women in need.
“I was a member of a PEO chapter in Kansas prior to moving here in 2015. When I first arrived here, I did not know anyone. One of the first things I did was go to the Internet to seek out a local chapter. When I saw there was one, I was so relieved. I contacted the chapter and began going to meetings,” Korb recalled.
According to the PEO website, the organization was founded on January 21, 1869 by seven students at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Today, there are 5,800 chapters nationwide.
“This circle of kindred spirits—bonded by their enthusiasm for women’s opportunities—eventually expanded to include women off campus as well. Through membership, the PEO Sisterhood has brought together more than half a million women in the United States and Canada who are passionate about helping women advance through education, while supporting and motivating them,” the site explains.
The local chapter of PEO—currently 38 members strong—looks forward to many more years of women helping women to succeed.
For more information about the Oneonta PEO chapter, including upcoming events, membership or grant/scholarship opportunities, contact Korb at firstname.lastname@example.org.