The Athens County Foundation recognized Julia Nehls for her lifetime of service to the community and to philanthropy by selecting her for this year’s Athens Jaycees Senior Award.
Born in Clark County, Nehls came to Athens in 1948 to pursue a graduate degree in preschool education at Ohio University. She didn’t plan on staying in Athens, but once she graduated in 1950 with her degree, things started falling in place and she has been a part of the community ever since.
Nehls graduate work in nursery school led her to a job offer right after graduation. Julia would go on to teach classes at the Putnam Nursey School (Ohio University) until 1972 when she was named the Director. At that time, the school also changed its name to the Nursery Childcare Center (now called the Child Development Center).
Julia has always been a caregiver, not only through her career choice, but in her personal life as well. She has dedicated her life to helping others, including taking three boys into her home and raising them as her own.
After years of working to care for hundreds of children in the community, Julia has spent her retirement continuing her dedication of helping others. She is the co-founder of the Prayer Shawl Ministry of the Church of the Good Shepherd. This group knit or crochet shawls and blankets for those that are ill, in need, are grieving, are celebrating a new baby and many others.
Julia believes in her community and is happy to have been able to give back to it all these years. Her advice for others to get an education, help as many people as you can and to just be happy.
The Athens County Foundation will give a $500 grant to the American Red Cross in Julia Nehls honor.