Thelma Dye-Holmes

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Ph.D. Executive Director, Northside Center for Child Development Inc., New York

When Thelma Dye-Holmes, who holds a doctorate in clinical psychology, took over as executive director of the Northside Center for Child Development in 1994, she transformed a $3 million dollar agency in the red into a $12 million agency with a profit margin. One of New York’s oldest and most respected mental health agencies, Northside serves over 1,500 children and their families annually. “I have a most fulfilling job because everyday I get to do something to make a child’s life better and I work with wonderful people who are equally fulfilled by…helping children,” Dye says.

Although she is not an original founder of Northside–that honor goes to Drs. Mamie and Kenneth Clark–”I’ve helped it to grow. We are all interdependent, interconnected. I succeed because so many people before me succeeded,” Dye says. With more than 20 years’ experience in her field, she has been a consultant for various schools, foster care agencies, mental health clinics and hospitals. She has presented papers at events organized by the American Psychological Association, Children’s Defense Fund and the American Orthopsychiatric Association.

A lifetime advocate for children and their families, Dye has served on several related committees, including the Mayor’s Children’s Week Committee, and is a member of the board of directors of Covenant House in New York, The Coalition of Voluntary Mental Health Agencies, Citizen’s Committee for Children of New York, Inc., Black Agency Executives, and the Urban Issues Group. Dr. Dye is clearly a woman who excels in juggling multiple responsibilities, but she is also a mother of two, wife, sister and daughter. “I have been nurtured by strong women throughout my life and my mother, sister and grandmother have been the wind beneath my wings,” Dr. Dye explains. Nevertheless, it is “the absolute joy of my children who always remind me that what I do is essential and necessary.”

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