Among a crowd of 600 at Mr. Anthony’s in Boardman, Holly Welch, curriculum supervisor and teacher for the Youngstown City Schools, was named the recipient of the 2014 Athena Award, given annually to recognize area business and professional women who have demonstrated excellence in their chosen career, provided leadership in the community and mentored or contributed to the growth of other professional women.
Welch’s accomplishments in the community are many----In 2006, she started the district’s biotechnology tech prep program in the basement of the Choffin Career and Technical Center. Although she only had a small classroom with one outlet and no sinks, her vision of the program was clear.
She convinced her principal, district treasurer and the Choffin Trust Fund members that if they built it, they, the students, would come. And now, Choffin is home to a half-a-million-dollar laboratory with a waiting list to get into the program, as students earn up to 19 semester hours to Youngstown State University.
Diana Tremblay, vice president of Global Business Services at General Motors and a former, 10-year resident of the Mahoning Valley, was the evening’s keynote speaker. In addition, the seventh annual Athena Scholarship, a $1,500, one-time award created in partnership with the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley, was presented to South Range High School senior Emily Erb. Erb has received numerous awards, participates in many extracurricular and volunteer activities, such as raising money to donate blankets to cancer victims and survivors, and plans to major in biology/pre-med at Youngstown State University.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield also presented for the second year two additional scholarships in the amount of $1,250 each to West Branch High School senior Breanna Winters and Boardman High School senior Katherine Auth.