Delaware Inducts Four Women into Hall of Fame for 2024

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WILMINGTON, DEGovernor John Carney has announced the induction of four outstanding women into the Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame for 2024. The honorees were selected by the Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame Committee from over 50 applicants. This year’s inductees are recognized for their significant contributions to various fields, including education, public service, arts, and law enforcement.

Honoring Excellence in Service and Leadership

Raye Jones Avery has dedicated 35 years to public service, focusing on arts-based community development, educational equity, and urban affairs. She has served with organizations such as the Delaware League for Planned Parenthood and the United Way of Delaware. As the Executive Director of Christina Cultural Arts Center Inc. since 1991, Avery led a $3 million capital campaign to renovate its Market Street location, significantly enhancing the center’s impact on the community.

Julissa Coriano is a clinical social worker and sexuality therapist known for her advocacy within the Latinx community, particularly among undocumented individuals, LGBTQIA members, and victims of human trafficking. Coriano co-founded Orgullo Delaware, a pioneering organization providing clinical support services for LGBTQIA-identified Latines and their families. She also founded the Delaware Sexuality & Gender Collective, furthering her commitment to holistic wellness and inclusivity.

Anna Marie Leo has been a cornerstone of the dance community in Wilmington for over 70 years. She founded the Anna Marie Dance Studio, where she trained numerous students who have gone on to perform on Broadway and in dance companies worldwide. Leo has also served as a competition judge and National Vice-President of the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Artists, contributing significantly to the arts.

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Colonel Melissa Zebley made history in July 2020 by becoming the first woman to serve as the Superintendent of the Delaware State Police (DSP). With a 32-year career in law enforcement, Zebley oversees Delaware’s largest enforcement agency, managing over 700 troopers and 300 professional staff. Her leadership marks a pivotal moment in the state’s law enforcement history.

Acknowledging Their Impact

“These remarkable women are dedicated to our community, and I’m honored to recognize their hard work,” said Governor Carney. “These honorees serve as an inspiration for all Delawareans. They better our community through advocacy, creativity, and service.”

Brenda Wise, Chair of the Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame Committee, emphasized the importance of their contributions. “Our 2024 Honorees embody the dedication of Delaware women to uplift their communities through holistic wellness, education, and the arts while also ensuring safer and more vibrant environments in which we can all thrive,” she said.

Celebrating Women’s Impact

The induction of these women into the Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame highlights the vital roles they play in enhancing community welfare and progress. Their achievements in diverse fields illustrate the broad spectrum of contributions women make to society. By recognizing their work, Delaware not only honors their past accomplishments but also sets a precedent for future generations of women leaders.

The implications of such recognition are far-reaching. These honorees serve as role models, inspiring others to pursue excellence in their respective fields. Their stories emphasize the importance of dedication, resilience, and community service. Moreover, highlighting their impacts fosters a greater appreciation for the diverse ways in which women contribute to societal advancement.

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The Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame 2024 inductees exemplify the spirit of service, leadership, and innovation. Their work has left an indelible mark on their communities and continues to inspire others. As Delaware celebrates these exceptional women, it also encourages a culture of recognition and empowerment for all women striving to make a difference.

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