Two high school students receive award

Janine Dykeman, executive director of the Mental Health Association in Fulton and Montgomery Counties, presents a 2019 MHA Education Award to Taylor Proctor of Mayfield High School. The other recipient was Ivy Dulysz from Amsterdam High School. (Photo submitted)

JOHNSTOWN — The Mental Health Association in Fulton and Montgomery Counties presented several awards at its May 30 annual dinner and silent auction at Holiday Inn.

The seventh annual MHA education award was awarded to two area high school seniors: Ivy Dulysz from Amsterdam High School and Taylor Proctor from Mayfield High School.

Each award winner received $500 for college-related expenses to pursue their education in a mental health-related field.

The 2019 Ruth S. Voorhees Award was presented to Nancy Baghaei-Rad, who has served on MHA’s board of directors for a total of 12 years and currently serves as board president.

She is the community schools coordinator for the Greater Amsterdam School District, where she serves as the liaison between the school and community. She facilitates and provides leadership for the collaborative process and development of a continuum of services for children, families and community members within the school district.

“Nancy promotes the mission of the MHA on a daily basis, through her professional and community involvement. In her professional career, she acts as teacher, role model, mentor, counselor and social worker in advocating for young people and families in need, said Laurie Ilagan, a board member. “She exemplifies the spirit of the Voorhees Award.”

Staff service awards were presented to employees with five, 10, 15 and 20 years of service and Employee Recognition Awards were given to employees who demonstrate and model the agency’s mission

Janine Dykeman, executive director, was also honored by MHA’s board of directors for 20 years of dedication, commitment and valued service to the agency.

Over the course of Dykeman’s leadership, the Mental Health Association has grown from an agency of 10 staff members, providing nine community programs to a staff of 160, offering 30 programs and services to adults, children and families in Fulton, Montgomery and Hamilton counties.

By Patricia Older

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