Judge Dellick Receives the 2021 Athena Award

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio –Mahoning County Juvenile Court Judge Theresa Dellick was named the recipient of the 2021 Athena Award during a ceremony Thursday night.

A crowd of some 550 gathered at Waypoint 4180 for the 28th annual event hosted by the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber and The Vindicator. The Athena award is given to 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, according to a press release.

When Dellick arrived to the juvenile court in 2001, she found a system that was outdated and punitive, according to the release. More than 100 students were locked up in the 40-bed detention facility with no pro-social programming. Most of their days were spent locked inside their cells. Sanctions consisted of locking up a youth for any offense with no rehabilitative measures, and there was no staff accountability or leadership to create programming, according to the release.

Since then, she has sought to change the entire philosophy of the court, hire passionate and dedicated staff, include youths and their families in decisions, bring in grant dollars for programming and more. Today, she oversees administration of the juvenile court, the detention center, intake services probation clerk of courts, counseling center and community services.

Under Dellick’s leadership, the court has gained a statewide and national reputation for being a leader in juvenile justice, according to the release.

In 2008, Dellick established the Mahoning County High School, which is designed for at-risk, trauma-affected students, to keep them in school and out of court. The school began with one student and has since enrolled and graduated hundreds. In 2016, she received recognition from the Obama Administration for these efforts.

In 2019, she assembled a community-based task force to create a boarding school paired with the high school for at-risk youth to assist them in obtaining and completing their education.

Under Dellick the court has been involved in early intervention and diversion programs, recidivism reduction, as well as increasing family self-reliance and ensuring the safety of those youth being served. In 2019, the number of delinquency cases filed by the prosecutor’s office was reduced to 272, down from more than 2,000 in 2001, according to the release.

Dellick is past president of the Junior League of the Mahoning Valley and is a member of the Mahoning County Extension Ambassador Council, Akron Children’s Hospital Community Health Assessment Committee, Financial Council of the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, and the Visitors Board of the YSU College of Arts and Sciences.

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

The keynote for the event was Tammy Whitworth, chairwoman and CEO of Window World.

The 13th annual Athena Scholarship was presented to Taylor Sebastiano, who is majoring in biology at YSU and will be a sophomore this fall. The $1,500 award was created in partnership with the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield also presented two $1,250 scholarships to seniors Haleigh Brock, Leetonia High School, and Sara DeLucia, Springfield Local High School. Both will attend YSU.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.