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Grove honored among YWCA’s ‘Women of Excellence’

Allison A. Bressler Grove, director of student engagement at Pennsylvania College of Technology, was inducted this month into the YWCA Northcentral Pennsylvania’s Women of Excellence program.

“I am honored to work and be a part of such a supportive community that includes so many role models before me,” she said. “It takes a village to make our visions and work come to life every day, and I am thankful to be a part of this village.”

Grove’s guiding value of improving society was instilled by her mother, Deborah, while growing up in the Elk County community of Johnsonburg.

Allison A. Bressler Grove“At an early age, Allison was taught that kindness matters and that, if you have an opportunity to help others, you should,” her nominator wrote. “Deborah Bressler exemplified those values through her own volunteerism, which she continues today.”

And that is the inspiration for whom Grove has become.

“Her passion for creating environments where individuals can thrive as their authentic selves is evident through everything she does,” her nominator continued. “Her compassion for others and infectious positive effect continue to make our community a stronger, better place for all to live. It is clear that the lesson Allison’s mom taught all those years ago – to be kind – has stuck.”

Grove attended Edinboro University, earning a bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology and a master’s in college student counseling and personnel services.

Her postgraduate career took her to Lycoming College, Ohio Wesleyan University and to the Indianapolis national headquarters of her Alpha Sigma Tau sorority.

In 2013, she returned to Williamsport to work in the Student Engagement Office at Penn College, which she now leads.

“Allison’s work at Penn College has guided thousands of students to opportunities for leadership development, exposure to cultural diversity, and activities supporting community service and service learning programs, just to name a few,” her nominator said.

Upon returning to the city, Allison knew she didn’t just want to have a job where she lived; she wanted to become part of the community. She began engaging in local programs, volunteering at the Central PA Food Bank, becoming one of the Williamsport Young Professionals (where she served as vice president), and joining the Junior League of Williamsport.

In the Junior League, Allison was quickly recognized for her strong leadership abilities and commitment to improving the lives of others. She helped the League with the development of a new strategic plan and supported implementation of a revised operating model, initiatives that have helped strengthen the League. Through creativity and endless energy, she became a driving force behind reinvigoration of the Annual Holiday Auction and reintroduction of the League as a member of the Kids First Friday committee.

“Allison’s thoughtful compassion for others is evident in her guidance of the completion and approval of the Junior League’s Identity, Diversity, Equity and Access Plan,” her nominator noted. “As a valued leader, Allison also led the Income Development and Education Committees as well as held positions as treasurer and president-elect. She is currently serving a two-year term as League president. She loves the platform that the Junior League provides to sometimes raise funds for those in need, while other times holding events that create opportunities to reinvest in the community.”

Outside of Junior League, Grove supports Raise the Region, Dwell Orphan Care, the YWCA Boutique and Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority.

She is the 15th Penn College employee to be selected in the 13 years of the local YWCA’s Women of Excellence program. The event, focused this fall on 11 community leaders and five young women from county high schools, celebrates the honorees’ dedication, leadership and passion for their communities.

“This celebration is a proud moment for our community,” said Dawn M. Linn, CEO of the regional YWCA. “A chance to honor the women who help to build strong neighborhoods, inspiring each of us to give back and look ahead for better tomorrows. In a constant pattern of unprecedented circumstances, may we all take this opportunity to learn from their leadership and passion and to empower each other to be Women of Excellence.”

This year’s inductees were recognized during a Nov. 4 gathering at Farrington Place on West Third Street, Williamsport.

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