The Times photo by Betsy Reason // 
Noblesville High School senior Mary Blake Brock (front, second from left) was winner of the 2018 Hamilton County Youth Service Award. Accomplished students who represented each of their participating schools included: Janae Osswald (front, from left), Hamilton Heights; winner; Celine Thormann, Westfield; Grace Marchese, Carmel; and Faith Young, Fishers; Valerie Obear, Hamilton Southeastern (middle row, second from left); and Lauren McKinney, Sheridan (right). County Commissioner Steve Dillinger (middle, left), County Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs director Monica Greer (back, from left), and Commissioners Christine Altman and Mark Heirbrandt made the presentations.
The Times photo by Betsy Reason // Noblesville High School senior Mary Blake Brock (front, second from left) was winner of the 2018 Hamilton County Youth Service Award. Accomplished students who represented each of their participating schools included: Janae Osswald (front, from left), Hamilton Heights; winner; Celine Thormann, Westfield; Grace Marchese, Carmel; and Faith Young, Fishers; Valerie Obear, Hamilton Southeastern (middle row, second from left); and Lauren McKinney, Sheridan (right). County Commissioner Steve Dillinger (middle, left), County Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs director Monica Greer (back, from left), and Commissioners Christine Altman and Mark Heirbrandt made the presentations.

Mary Blake Brock is a Noblesville High School senior with a passion to make the world a better place.

She is immersed in school and community activities that inform, teach and provide services to all who are in need.

She has been student body president, speech team captain, on the Homecoming committee and court, junior class senator and a mentor to middle-school girls.

She was a 2017 Hoosier Girls State recipient, placed seventh in Indiana for her speech about the heroin epidemic and earned the Levinson Lifetime Philanthropic Award of $10,000, which she dispersed into community organizations.

She participated in Sen. Richard Lugar’s Leadership Summit, raised awareness for Transformations home in Noblesville for women recovering from drug addiction, and traveled to Cuba to teach English and help develop a church.

Mary Black Brock -- an accomplished young woman who plans to study pre-law at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and attend law school to become an attorney to defend the vulnerable -- is winner of the 2018 Commissioners Youth Service Award for Hamilton County.

The 25th annual award was presented May 14 by Hamilton County Commissioners Steve Dillinger, Christine Altman and Mark Heirbrandt, in partnership with Hamilton County school corporations and the Hamilton County Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs. Dillinger presented Brock with a plaque as she was recognized for her commitment to the community and leadership in promoting a healthy and safe Hamilton County.

The scholarship award is part of ongoing efforts to recognize outstanding service by drug-free youth, according to Monica Greer, new director of the Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs.

“I was so not expecting this (award) today. This feels incredible. There are no words for it,” the winner said, after receiving the award.

The young woman is grateful to God and her family for all of the help along the way.

It’s not been easy, she said.

Her parents said their daughter is learning disabled. “The child has had to work an amazingly hard road to get where she’s at,” said her dad, Timothy Brock. “Things don’t come natural. She works very, very hard. What you’re seeing is just a minor little miracle.”

The teen said, “I was tested for special needs in kindergarten. I really had to work to be on top of everything, because I work slower than other people.”

“The reading piece came very slowly. We did a lot of praying over that,” he dad said.

But their child kept persevering, Rebecca Brock said of her daughter.

Although Mary Black Brock started keeping track of her activities in sixth grade, when she attended Bible camp and missions trips her seventh-grade year, it wasn’t until high school that she got really involved in an array of activities, getting her first chance to go to Cuba her freshman year to teach English.

But there was one activity that she persevered more than others, and that was student government. She tried so hard, running for student government offices her freshman and sophomore years, but she didn’t win. It wasn’t until her third year of high school that she happened into a Junior Class Senator position.

“Through the speech team, I knew there were topics I wanted to be more passionate about. So I started speaking on those….I’ve always wanted to go into ministry,” said the 18-year-old, who thanked her parents for their guidance. Her father is senior pastor of White River Christian Church in Noblesville, and her mother is an eighth-grade language arts teacher at Westfield Middle School.

“She’s just been a real gift to us,” her dad said. “She’s not a perfect child. She’s spoiled. She’s entitled. And she loves people like no one else I’ve ever met.”

Tim Brock said his daughter, who works part-time at L&M Gardens, volunteered at Transformations since its opening. “Since Day 1,” he said. “They think she’s a little sister.”

Her mom said, “She’s tenacious. She has a joy for life and wants to get involved, and she wants to help others. She’s had a drive since she was little.”

The teen also worked nearly 40 hours a week to be able to finance an invitation to the Envision Intensive Law and Trial competition at Stanford University in California, then earning the Top Attorney Award. She hopes to work internationally defending men, women and children who are trafficked.

The Brocks love their community. “We love Noblesville. We’ve been here for 15 years. Our family feels like they’ve won the lottery by being able to be part of this community.”

Mary Blake Brock said, “I couldn’t love anything more than I love my high school.”
Other accomplished students who represented each of their participating schools included: Grace Marchese, Carmel; Faith Young, Fishers; Janae Osswald, Hamilton Heights; Valerie Obear, Hamilton Southeastern; Lauren McKinney, Sheridan; and Celine Thormann, Westfield. Each of the recipients will also receive grant money from the Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs.

-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.