By Heather DiPrato, as featured in Yardley Living: November 2020
In March of 2020, we shared the story of Jan Block and her daughters Amy Patterson and Lisa Baldwin who have passionately dedicated their time to the Rick and Chris Block Memorial Scholarship for more than 25 years. Although this year’s award ceremony could not be held as planned, the scholarship is awarded to an exceptional Pennsbury Student with the same level of commitment to community, scholastics, and basketball that were embodied by its namesakes.
The 2020 awardee is Mary Miller. Mary made the varsity basketball team as a freshman and played 100 varsity games, culminating with 23-5 record, a league championship, and an appearance in the state quarterfinals in her senior season.
According to Amy Patterson, “Mary made impressive contributions to her basketball team’s success at PHS and has also shown a commitment to serving others in her community. She has worked hard both on and off the court, and our family is so proud to be able to support her with this scholarship that she can apply towards her future academic endeavors.”
Over her high school basketball career, Mary grew into a 2020 Suburban One All-League selection, a recipient of the Markward Award, and was named to the suburban team of the All-Star Labor Classic. She was also chosen as the WBCB player of the game five times and named Game MVP of The Cream of The Crop event last December.
She took on a leadership role in the basketball program, serving as a sounding board for the younger girls in the program, and serving as her team’s captain in the 2019-2020 season. Throughout her time in the program, she also enjoyed being a camp and clinic counselor and loved visiting Pennsbury’s elementary schools for reading and basketball pep rallies.
“Mary was selected not only because of her success as a player, but for her commitment to her studies, overcoming adversity, and attaining a 3.97 GPA – all while holding down a job, leading her team, and contributing to the success of others,” says Jan Block, whose sons were the inspiration for the award. “It has been an honor to get to know Mary better through this process.”
While Mary acknowledged having struggled with reading comprehension, she was committed to her academic success and found strategies to help. In addition to taking 11 high school courses, she also took college-level courses at Gwynned Mercy University and Bucks County Community College. By the end of the summer, she had earned 36 college credits and graduated high school with a 3.97 GPA.
With the desire to become more well-rounded, Mary devoted countless hours to community service initiatives in and out of school. She also played varsity volleyball and ultimate frisbee. All of this was accomplished while holding down a job and taking college classes for the last two years. Mary’s dedication to academics, community, and her team made her stand out to the RCBM Scholarship Committee.
We congratulate Mary Miller on her award!