A department chair and an ex-Mahoning County official were honored.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Youngstown State University's Public Service Institute honored two women known for their dedication and commitment to those who need assistance in the Mahoning Valley.
The institute presented its eighth annual Public Service Award on Wednesday to Delores Crawford, former executive director of Mahoning County Job and Family Services, and Tammy King, YSU criminal justice department chairwoman.
The awards are presented annually to two people, one from the community and the other from the university, who have gone above the call of duty to serve the public and make a positive impact in the Mahoning Valley.
Devotion to guidance
Heidi Hallas, a graduate student who has had King as a professor, said King is an inspiration to her and others.
"She's amazing," said Hallas, who is a research associate and evaluator at YSU's Center for Human Services Development. "Her dedication to the community and the university is inspiring."
Besides her work at YSU, King is a program developer at the Mahoning County Juvenile Justice Center, a member of the citizens advisory board at the Ohio State Penitentiary and a member of the Trumbull County Domestic Violence Task Force.
She started a juvenile diversion program in Youngstown, and she also works with ex-convicts to integrate them back into society.
King said there is nothing more rewarding than helping a person heading in the wrong direction.
"I never believed one person can save the world," she said.
However, she said thousands of people working together can make the world a better and safer place.
Inspired to service
Crawford previously worked at the Youngstown/Mahoning Valley United Way and was the minority coordinator for the YSU Center for Urban and Regional Studies.
She retired in April as the executive director of the Mahoning County Job and Family Services.
Crawford earned bachelor's degrees in sociology and language from YSU. Crawford said the money to pay for her YSU education came from an anonymous donor. That gift led her to believe that when someone does something good for you, you need to do something good for others.
"I'm a product of this community," she said. "I am who I am from working with people in this community."
The Public Service Institute offers a wide range of services to cities, agencies, human service organizations and businesses.