City Commission on the Status of Women to Honor Local Women at Women’s Achievement Celebration

BLOOMINGTON — The City of Bloomington Commission on the Status of Women announces the Women’s Achievement Celebration “Reflecting Back, Moving Forward,” which will take place on August 19, 2022, at the FAR Center for Contemporary Arts at 505 W 4th St in Bloomington.

The Women’s Achievement Celebration will honor four local women with awards for their outstanding contributions to the community – the 2022 Woman of the Year, the Toby Strout Lifetime Achievement Award, the Emerging Leader Award, and Young Woman of the Year. These awards are normally presented in March during Women’s History Month but were postponed due to the pandemic.

Courtney Payne-Taylor

The 2022 Woman of the Year is Courtney Payne-Taylor, founder of GRO, the Girls Riders Organization. Since GRO was founded in 2006, it has expanded to include chapters in 11 states and has established partnerships with Girls Inc. and the Boys & Girls Club. Recognized nationally through ESPN’s Everyday Heroes and NBC’s Inspiring America awards, Courtney believes her mission in life is to empower girls by teaching them to skateboard. Courtney is also the current Operations Director for Boys and Girls Clubs of Bloomington.

Dellsie Boddie

The Toby Strout Lifetime Achievement Award winner is Dellsie Boddie. Dellsie has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to feeding, nurturing, and empowering her community. Her acts of service stretch beyond Cry of the Children, the organization she founded in 1995 to improve the quality of life for adolescents. Dellsie has long been a positive force for children and families in our community, including people experiencing homelessness, elders, and students.

Nichelle Wash

The Emerging Leader award winner is Nichelle Wash. Outside of her work as Associate Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Education Advisory Board (EAB), Nichelle Wash is active in community organizations and projects addressing hunger, education, and economic and social development. Nichelle developed and launched the free, afterschool training program, Girls Coding Camp. She is also the chair of the Monroe County Women’s Commission and Founder and CEO of The Guarden, which offers diversity education training for institutions, corporations, and organizations. 

Rebekah Turner

The Young Woman of the Year is Rebekah Turner. Rebekah is a founding member and Senior Patrol Leader of Scouts BSA Troop 1148. At just 16 years old, Rebekah is kind, compassionate, and an exceptional leader. She is a staff member at the National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT) program, leading 11-17-year-olds on wilderness adventures, and teaches youth at the annual Scout Summer Camp at Maumee Scout Reservation.

In addition to the 2022 award winners, the Women’s Achievement Celebration will also recognize award winners from the 2020 and 2021 award years. Many of these community leaders provided essential support to Bloomington residents during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic but were unable to be honored with an in-person celebration.

Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton

“Congratulations to this year’s recipients as well as the winners from the pandemic years,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “These women are models of vision, persistence, and community. We are a better city as a result of their efforts.” 

The Women’s Achievement Celebration will begin at 5:30 p.m., with the award ceremony beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are free, but space is limited, so registration is required. To reserve tickets, please visit

For more information, please contact Marissa Parr-Scott, at 812-349-3468 or