Another local winner, Ed Book of Cockeysville, hasn't seen the same type of personal transformation as King.
Instead, he has fostered growth in another.
Book, a youth mentor at St. Vincent Villa in Timonium, received the 2012 Disability Advocate of the Year award for his work with a 13-year-old boy who has made the transition from St. Vincent Villa to a foster home in the community — a tough move, made more difficult by a set of extreme circumstances for the boy.
According to the nomination form submitted by Lauren Porter, director of the Therapeutic Mentoring Program at St. Vincent Villa, Book has worked closely with a treatment team, his schoolteachers, his foster parents, and any other people he thinks need to be in the loop in order to keep them abreast of the boy's thoughts and progress.
Book met twice a week with the boy from four to 10 hours each time while in residential treatment, a schedule that continued after he moved to foster care. Book helped bring about a smooth transition to the child's first foster home. Unfortunately, the woman who looked after him fell suddenly ill.
The child was moved to a second home for a period, only to be moved for a third time in a switch that changed his school bus route and after-school schedule.
"Throughout this tumultuous time, Mr. Book did everything possible to support and advocate for his mentee," the nomination form said.
On top of his behind-the-scenes work, Book said he relishes playing ball with the youngster, going to the movies or "any activities that I think he would enjoy."
"Part of it is just sharing my time with him and helping him enjoy the activities," he said. "The other part is basically being there to support him with emotional problems he may be having."
Porter said Book, one of 30 mentors at St. Vincent Villa, is a "trailblazer" in terms of his multifaceted commitment to ensuring the boy had a chance to succeed when moved into the community.
"He gives his mentee hope," Porter said. "He gives him a belief and a power in a brighter future."
Several other local organizations were honored at the luncheon last week as well. The Towson University Center for Adults with Autism won the Innovative Program award for its field-leading work with that underserved population.
Additionally, Carissa Mortenson and Julia Kardian of the Grace Fellowship Church in Timonium won the Family Support award for their programs that offer assistance to community members whose family members need assistance because of a disability.
This story has been updated.