Local Students Take Part In State-Wide Youth Service Program

By Adam Swift

Eighth-grade service Ambassadors representing every city and town in Massachusetts kicked-off their year of youth-led service with Project 351 Saturday, joined by Governor Maura Healey.

The event included Ambassadors from Revere, Chelsea, and Winthrop.

Project 351, a nonprofit organization, annually unites a class of unsung heroes for a transformative year of leadership development, enrichment, and impact through unique service opportunities. More than 425 Ambassadors and Alumni mentors took part in Project 351’s 13th annual Launch and Service Day in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King.

Representing Chelsea were Geovany Brito from the Eugene Wright Science & Technology Academy and Esme Martinez from the Clarke Avenue Middle School.

Grace McCurdy represented Winthrop from the Winthrop Middle School.

Representing Revere were Sarah Naz from the Susan B. Anthony Middle School, Alison Diez Jaramillo from the Garfield Middle School, and Achraf Boukirou from the Rumney Marsh Academy.

“I’m excited to meet this year’s class of Project 351 Ambassadors as they begin their year of service,” said Healey. “This program is a reminder of how every one of us has the power to make a difference in our communities. These young people represent the very best of our state and I know that their impact will be felt in every city and town for years to come.”

Launch Day kicks-off 12 months of leadership development through unifying service, alumni mentorship, and enrichment through Project 351’s Service Leadership Academy.

Over their year’s term, Ambassadors develop the skills and confidence to mobilize schools and communities in four statewide service campaigns: Spring Service, benefitting Cradles and Crayons, Hope & Gratitude Walk benefiting nonprofits selected by Ambassadors; 9-11 Tribute Service with the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund; and Fall Service, which seeks to eradicate hunger through support of hundreds of hometown Food Pantries. At the close of their service year, Ambassadors are invited to continue to hone skills and lead communities as a member of the Alumni Organization.

 “The 35ONE generation is compassion-in-action. We’re honored to welcome our 13th Class of leaders, dreamers, and doers,” said Carolyn Casey, Project 351’s Founder and Executive Director.  “We are proud of their commitment to unite as the Class of 2023 to build the knowledge, skills, and confidence to lead the change they wish to see in the world.”

Launch Day celebrated the Class of 2023 and honored the legacy of the Kings, with a special tribute of the “The Embrace”, the Commonwealth’s first memorial to Dr. and Mrs. King. Highlights include a kick-off program at Faneuil Hall and an end-of-day celebration at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum. Jim Gallagher, General Counsel, Manulife and Imari Paris Jeffries, Executive Director, Embrace Boston will be featured speakers at Faneuil Hall.

Ambassadors dedicated the afternoon to high impact service with 10 nonprofit organizations including La Colaborativa, Cradles to Crayons, Hope & Comfort, and the Wonderfund. United across 351 cities and towns, Ambassadors addressed critical issues including hunger, educational opportunity, childhood poverty, mental health and wellness, and care for military and veterans – impacting thousands of neighbors across Boston and the Commonwealth.

Since 2011, 4,492 Ambassadors have positively impacted more than 1.2 million neighbors through unifying statewide service.

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