The following is adapted from a press release from Project 351:
More than 250 eighth graders, representing the Commonwealth's 351 cities and towns will meet this Saturday, January 14 for a second annual day of service.
These student “ambassadors” from across Massachusetts will meet to volunteer and celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. as part of Project 351. Launched during Governor Deval Patrick’s inaugural in 2010, Project 351 is dedicated to celebrating youth leadership and inspiring the ethic of service.
Nicole Bodette, an eighth grader at the , will be Stoughton’s representative.
Governor Patrick will again host a Youth Town Meeting this year, before the young people fan out to service sites across Boston including, Cradles to Crayons, the Greater Boston Food Bank, the Dorchester Boys and Girls Club and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Towers.
The day will conclude at the State House where the ambassadors and the Governor will reflect on the day and celebrate the legacy of Dr. King.
The young people participating were all nominated by education leaders in their hometowns, based on their exemplary service ethic and spirit of generosity.
OMS Assistant Principal David Guglia said Nicole Bodette, Jack Conlin and Darya Musatova were nominated by their eighth grade teachers and were required to write an essay about the role they play in the community of Stoughton (which can be found in the media gallery).
Guglia said “It was a difficult choice,” but Bodette ultimately got the call.
In a letter the OMS sent to Project 351, Bodette was credited for “[leading] by example with her stellar grades, class participation, exemplary behavior and community spirit.”
Bodette, who is active with projects dealing with recycling, collecting food for the local food pantries and collecting toys for Toys for Tots, “exemplifies the ethic of service in many ways,” according to the OMS.
January 14 will also serve as the launch of Project 351, a new, independent non-profit dedicated to continuing youth leadership in the Commonwealth through dedication to service of an annual class of ambassadors. Governor Patrick will serve as Project 351's honorary chair.
“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,” said Carolyn Casey, executive director of Project 351. “We will work to ensure that young leaders from across the Commonwealth have the greatest potential to make a difference in their communities.”
“Project 351 is designed to inspire, challenge and motivate our next generation of leaders to give back and make a significant impact in the community,” added Governor Patrick. “I am proud that the enormous success of last year’s day of service has opened up so many new opportunities for youth across the Commonwealth to serve, and I look forward to joining this year’s youth ambassadors on January 14 to give back and honor the legacy of Dr. King.”
Last year’s day of service impacted over 10,000 children facing economic challenges in the areas of nutrition, early childhood health and development and education and motivated the ambassadors who took part.
Represented Stoughton at last school year.