Home. It is a word that has a different meaning to each person. For me, home isn’t a structure, but rather a feeling. Growing up, home was where I felt the love of my parents and family throughout the long days of school and countless after school commitments. Home has grown into the feeling of confidence in being myself.
It was in my home on the campus of Butler University where I was first introduced to Coburn Place. On campus, the women of Kappa Kappa Gamma host an annual kickball tournament, Kappa Kickoff, to raise money for Coburn. In my first year as a Kappa, I was a part of the fundraising efforts and joined my sisters in serving the organization through volunteer work.
At my first visit to the old IPS school building on 38th street that now serves as the home of Coburn Place, I learned that Coburn would be the first space for many women and children to experience “home” as I also felt it to be–a safe haven. I fell in love with its mission that not only creates a safe home for all its residents, but is committed to making that space a first step in self-sufficiency.
I volunteered throughout my tenure at Butler University and continued to be a regular volunteer during my law school career at Indiana University McKinney School of Law. 10 years after my first day volunteering at Coburn, I started its first Young Professionals group, Indigo, capitalizing on the desire of Indy Millennials to create the feeling of home for others. And now 13 years after I first walked into the doors of Coburn, I serve as the Vice Chair for the Coburn Place Board of Directors.
As you look to make your mark in Indy’s civic scene, I implore you to think about what “home” means to you. Is it a family member mentoring you through your growth and development? If so, find the organization that provides that mentoring for kids who may not have that kind of parental guidance. Is home where you can always go to get a hot meal and comforting conversations around the dinner table? Seek out an organization focused on food security in our community. And once you’ve found that mission, grow with the organization and its leadership. In a world where attention is fleeting and involvement is performative, your long lasting and intentional work can lead to a legacy of service.
The countless stories of survivors finding home at Coburn Place continues to solidify my commitment to its mission. A chance meeting 13 years ago has led to work that has furthered the organization’s success and development and I’m proud to be a small piece of what makes Coburn home to so many.
Meet Emily Shrock
A lifelong resident of Indiana, Emily Shrock moved to Indianapolis in 2005 to attend Butler University. After earning her business degree, she attended the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. A public servant for over a decade, Shrock currently serves as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney and Director of Public Engagement and Programs at the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office. Shrock also served as the Indiana Democratic Party’s Director of Voter Protection during the 2016 and 2018 Elections where she led the party’s statewide Election Day legal-team. She currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Coburn Place Board of Directors, the Vice President of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Alumni Board, a member of the Southside Democrat Club Board of Directors, a member of the Rules Committee of the Indiana Young Democrats, a member of the Vote Safe Indiana Board of Directors and the Secretary of the Better Indiana PAC. Shrock attends Christ Church Cathedral and began a pro bono legal clinic that has partnered with Coalition of Our Immigrant Neighbors (COIN) to provide legal services to immigrants in our community.