By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer
Regional – On Saturday, Jan. 14, over 250 eighth-grade students from across the commonwealth will be participating in Project 351. As a celebration of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Project 351 is dedicated to “celebrating youth leadership and inspiring the ethic of service.” The student “ambassadors” will attend a Youth Town Meeting with Gov. Deval Patrick followed by a day of service at select locations around Boston including Cradles to Crayons, the Greater Boston Food Bank, the Dorchester Boys and Girls Club and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Towers.
Following the day of service, student ambassadors will meet at the State House where Patrick, honorary chair of Project 351, will join them to reflect on their experiences and to honor King's legacy.
“It is a unique opportunity for students to strengthen their leadership skills, learn from our commonwealth's leaders and their peers, and then apply all that they’ve learned in their local community,” said Monica Roberts, the director of Family and Community Relations at Randolph Public Schools.
Local eighth-graders who were “nominated by education leaders in their hometowns, based on their exemplary ethic of service and their values of humility, compassion, commitment, kindness and generosity of spirit” include Lily Clouter of Hudson, Sarah Loverso of Southborough, Remy Zais of Westborough and Jaehyun Lee of Shrewsbury.
Echoing King's words from his sermon, “A Drum Major's Instinct,” the governor told nominees in a letter of congratulations that, “The only requirement of service “is a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.””
Carolyn Casey is the executive director of Project 351.
“Project 351 will support and create opportunities for the eighth-grade ambassadors” continued service, by providing tools, enrichment and connection to a community of their peers,” Casey said. “We will work to ensure that young leaders from across the commonwealth have the greatest potential to make a difference in their communities.”
To learn more about Project 351 visit http://project351.wordpress.com/.