Game Changers: Helena Devereux featured in exhibit honoring Pennsylvania women who made history
Helena T. Devereux, special education pioneer and founder of Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, is featured in a new exhibit at the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence in Harrisburg that honors the achievements of 32 Pennsylvania women over the past 100 years.
The exhibit, titled “Game Changers: Pennsylvania Women Who Made History,” coincides with the 100th anniversary of the state’s ratification of the 19th Amendment, which, in 1920, gave women in the U.S. the right to vote.
“We are honored the state chose to include Miss Devereux in this wonderful and important exhibit that pays tribute to innovative women whose significant contributions inspire us to make a positive difference in the world every day,” said Devereux President and CEO Carl E. Clark II. “Miss Devereux was, without a doubt, a ‘game changer’ who devoted her life to helping and serving others. She strongly believed that children, regardless of the level of their disabilities, could learn and achieve personal growth in an environment tailored to meet their needs. Her innovative ideas in developing individualized education programs for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities were far beyond her time, and have spread far beyond the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
Celebrating the achievements of women
The women featured in the “Game Changers” exhibit represent diverse fields, including education, science, business, human rights advocacy and the arts. The exhibit details the vast and valuable contributions these trailblazers made, as well as the challenges they faced.
“This exhibit tells the story of women who proved to be ‘game changers’ in their respective fields, overcoming – as the suffragists who came before them – often insurmountable odds to impact positive change in Pennsylvania,” first lady Frances Wolf said in a press release. “Tom (Gov. Tom Wolf) and I hope that this exhibit will serve as a reminder that we all must celebrate and continue to encourage younger generations of women to become leaders in the own professions and communities.”
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The “Game Changers” exhibit will remain on display at the Governor’s Residence through December, before moving to The State Museum of Pennsylvania.
About Helena T. Devereux
Born in Philadelphia on Feb. 2, 1885, Miss Devereux was empowered by the need to serve others. At a time when very little was known or understood about individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the South Philadelphia public school teacher was determined to provide a better education for children with special needs.
In 1912, Miss Devereux began teaching youth with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences out of her own home in Devon, Pa. More than 100 years later, Devereux is one of the largest and most advanced behavioral healthcare organizations in the country, serving many of the most vulnerable members of our society in areas of autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities, specialty mental health and child welfare.
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