Athena 2020 scholarship recipient named, award dinner postponed

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While all three scholarship recipients would have been recognized during the Athena Award Dinner, they will be invited to participate in the 2021 event

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The 28th annual Athena Award Dinner has officially been canceled for 2020 and will resume in 2021.

However, the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber moved forward with the selection and presentation of the 13th Athena Scholarship to Gabriella Gensamer, who graduated from Western Reserve High School and the Mahoning County Career & Technical Center (MCCTC).

Gensamer will attend Youngstown State University this fall to study electrical engineering.

The Athena Scholarship—a $1,500, one-time award created in partnership with the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley—honors young women for their academic achievements, extracurricular activities and community service and experience in mentoring or having been mentored by others.

Gensamer, who graduated with a 4.0 GPA and was a valedictorian of her class this year, also attended the Valley STEM + ME2 Academy and MCCTC. Her dedication to the STEM field and identifying more opportunities for women in that field resulted in the academy’s administration starting a biomedical science class when she was a sophomore. She excelled in that class and went on to the MCCTC’s biotechnology program.

Gensamer placed in HOSA’s regional Pathophysiology Knowledge Competition in 11th and 12th grades; was a media representative for Valley STEM and MCCTC on multiple occasions and spoke on behalf of both to Gov. Mike DeWine and his cabinet; was recognized several times for her skills in playing the piano and was a member of the National Honor Society and National Technical Honors Society.

In addition to the scholarship, Gensamer was gifted with an iPad, sponsored annually by Lee and Bonnie Burdman.

In addition to the Athena Scholarship, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield—sponsor of two additional scholarships for the eighth year—presented awards in the amount of $1,250 each to Annabelle Himes and Sophie Klase.

Himes, who also graduated as a valedictorian from Western Reserve High School with a 4.0, will study business at Youngstown State University. She was senior class president and secretary of the National Honor Society and volunteered with many organizations in the Valley, including Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley, Buddy Walk and Trick or Treat for Autism.

Klase graduated from McDonald High School with a 3.95 GPA and plans to major in early childhood education at Youngstown State University. She earned letters for academics, cross country and track and field and was also recognized with an Academic All-Ohio award several times. Klase was secretary of both the Student Council and the National Honor Society and had served as junior class president.

While all three scholarship recipients would have been recognized during the Athena Award Dinner, they will be invited to participate in the 2021 event.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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