MOUNT VERNON — Melissa Body was named Professional Child Advocate of the Year at the Knox County Children Services 2010 Community Awards Luncheon on Thursday in the President’s Dining Room in Hyson Center on the campus of Mount Vernon Nazarene University. Body, who works at the Alcohol & Drug Freedom Center of Knox County has worked with some of the most challenging youths in the county for over 12 years.
According to Lisa Mazzari, who nominated her, Body was one of the original masterminds behind the Juvenile Drug Court Program, and has also been a tireless child advocate through her work with Head Start. She has served on Family Teams and Community Teams to help youths and the families receive the services they need to reach their goals. She has spearheaded the annual Chili Cook-Off to increase awareness of Juvenile Drug Court. She has also facilitated a fashion show with drug court participants to help them improve self-esteem, as well as drama classes that allowed the youths to express themselves constructively.