A Lenfest College Preparatory Program graduate, Emily started working at the Philadelphia-based clearinghouse in 2010 as a student at nearby Haverford College. She became a full-time employee almost a year ago. Among the tasks she tackles are assisting members of the organizationís legal team, corresponding with incarcerated women, taking phone calls from women with criminal charges, and performing research for a federally funded prisoner reentry project.
Emily Bock (right) and a colleague at Community Legal Services
Her path to helping women started with shadowing an attorney in her sophomore year at Haverford. She accompanied the attorney to meet with clients in the Franklin County Jail.
"That was an eye-opening experience for me," Emily explains. "I then started looking to be an advocate for social justice."
Emily got more involved during a Fellowship at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, where she assisted city residents with pardons and expungement.
"The more work I did, the more I saw that I cared about the criminal justice system and protecting peopleís rights," she says.
A resident of West Philadelphia, Emily is also a volunteer at the State Correctional Institution at Graterford, about an hour west of the city.
Emily grew up in Franklin County and was attending school in the Fannett-Metal Middle School when a family friend at Mercersburg Academy mentioned the Lenfest College Preparatory Program. Emily applied as an 8th grader and won a scholarship to attend the Westtown School in Chester County. The idea of leaving home to go to school was a bit unnerving to Emily and her family.
"It was scary," she recalls. "It was a big step into the unknown."
But she took the step and looks back at the time at Westtown and the support of The Lenfest Foundation as something that changed her life.
"I know that without that experience, there would have been so many things I would not have been able to do," Emily says.