Betzi White of Portage is the honoree in the professions category.
White is the licensed social worker administrator for Cambria County Children and Youth Services, the agency working to prevent the abuse, neglect and exploitation of children.
White is a 1980 graduate of Pitt-Johnstown with a bachelor’s degree in political science.
She was hired by Cambria County Children and Youth Service in 1988 and promoted to casework supervisor in 1993. She was responsible for teaching, mentoring and helping caseworkers build critical thinking skills.
When the CYS administrator retired in 1998, family court Judge Norman Krumenacker encouraged her to apply for the position.
Because she lacked some required skills, White enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work, Child Welfare Education for the leadership master’s degree program.
She graduated in 2001 with a master’s degree in social work, with concentration in administration and community organization and a certificate in child welfare.
She returned to CYS as a casework supervisor and worked as acting administrator until being promoted to the position in 2003.
She and her husband, Gary, are the parents of three children.
She is the daughter of Bob and Margaret Mainhart of Summerhill Township.
Allison Felix of Westmont is the first recipient of the award.
Felix is the director of the St. Francis University Science Outreach Center, which promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the community.
Felix advanced her interest in science and environmental health by earning bachelor and master degrees in biology.
While completing a master’s degree, she began teaching and coordinating the environmental health and safety program at the former Cambria County Area Community College.
She strives to increase the number of students pursuing an education in applied science fields, and support K-12 schools and their students in specific curriculums.
Felix serves as the regional lead for the central Pennsylvania STEM Region.
She serves on the board of directors of CBM and Natural Biodiversity. She also serves on Lift Johnstown, the Greater Johnstown School District’s engineering education advisory committee, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College’s math and science advisory committee, the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corp.’s STEM career advancement project advisory committee and the Pennsylvania STEM girls collaborative project’s leadership committee.
Felix and her husband, Don, of Westmont are the parents of three children.
Felix is the daughter of Richard and Sara Gregory of Jenner Township.