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Goddess of the Valley: ‘Visionary’ Judge Dellick wins ATHENA Award

Photo courtesy of LA Images Photography.... Betty Jo Licata, dean of the Youngstown State University Williamson College of Business Administration, right, presents the ATHENA Award to Mahoning County Juvenile Court Judge Theresa Dellick at the 28th annual awards ceremony on Thursday.

CANFIELD — Mahoning County Juvenile Court Judge Theresa Dellick was named winner of the ATHENA award during the 28th annual event on Thursday.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you,” she repeated, emotional at the podium as she held her award.

The event at Waypoint 4180 was sponsored by The Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber and The Vindicator.

Described as a “visionary” who has created opportunities for young people, Dellick has 20 years of experience in her field.

Dellick oversees the administration of the court, as well as the detention center, intake services, probation clerk of courts, counseling center and community services. When she arrived in 2001, she found a system that was outdated and punitive. Since then, she has sought to change the entire philosophy of the court, hire passionate and dedicated staff, include each youth and their family in decisions, bring in dollars through grants for programming and more. The results have been astounding, and the court has since gained a national and state reputation for being a leader in juvenile justice, according to her biography provided by the chamber.

She took a moment to recognize the “so many talented women, especially my colleagues, on the bench.”

Thanking her team with the juvenile court and juvenile justice center, Dellick said they do most of the work, paving the way for her to do her job.

The Canfield resident earned a BSBA from Youngstown State University and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Toledo College of Law. She worked at a private practice in Youngstown before moving to the public sector in 1999, serving as a county court judge.

Scholarship recipients for 2021 also were honored at the dinner.

Presented the ATHENA Scholarship for $1,500 and an iPad was Taylor Sebastiano of Warren, a sophmore biology major at YSU. She is working to become the first female physician in her family.

Two high school seniors each received a $1,250 Anthem Scholarship — Haleigh Brock of Leetonia and Sarah DeLucia of Springfield, who both will attend YSU.

The awards dinner, which was not held last year because of the pandemic, had 550 people in attendance, including past recipients and nominees.

Tammy Whitworth, chairman and CEO of Window World, was keynote speaker.

Addressing nominees, Whitworth said it was an inspiration to be surrounded by such talent.

“All of you are setting the bar for women, not just locally, but also beyond,” she said.

Her journey to leading a company was unpredictable.

Whitworth overcame long hours, working with husband Todd to reinvigorate home remodeling, the premature birth of their daughter and untimely death of Todd in 2010 and then a breast cancer diagnosis.

Throughout it all, Whitworth said discussions have played a part in success, whether asking for help or simply having a conversation to learn from one another.

“It’s vital to listen to our peers through failure and success,” she said.

The ATHENA Award came to the Mahoning Valley in 1990 and was reinvented in 1995 after a hiatus.

Since its inception in the early 1980s in Lansing, Mich., more than 8,000 people have been awarded the ATHENA Award worldwide.

Additional sponsors are Huntington Bank, Window World, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Packer Thomas and The Muransky Companies. It was announced as nominees were presented that nominee Jacqueline Burley, executive director of Protestant Family Services, died Sunday.

afox@vindy.com

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