“Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

History around Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

In 1994, Congress designated the third Monday of January (January 16, 2017) as a national day of service; making it a part of the President’s national call to service initiative United We Serve. MLK Day has given Americans reason to come together to empower and strengthen their communities over the past 20 years. This momentous day was also founded in the same year as City Year Chicago.

For all AmeriCorps members across the nation, Dr. Martin Luther King Day is a “Day on, not a day off.”  Dr. King left a legacy of serving others through his life and his teachings. He had a vision of a “Beloved Community,” a community of different backgrounds that understands that we are connected and our own well-being is linked with the well-being of others. This Beloved Community vision is also a City Year Founding Story.

To make his vision come alive, our City Year Chicago Civic Engagement Team picks a deserving Chicago Public School each year to beautify and give our time. This year 1000 volunteers from across the city will be serving at Curie Metropolitan High School in the Archer Heights community. 

Our service project for our volunteers will range from painting murals to light construction projects, beautifying the hallways and classrooms.

Here are a few of our projects that our CE Team & Service Reserves Team has been working on:

Geometric pattern in art room

Civic Engagement Team Member Shay tracing a quote in a Social Studies room.

Service Reserve members Renee & Sam applying painter’s tape in a Science Room

Lea Henry is an AmeriCorps Member serving at the Stagg School of Excellence.

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