MDC Celebrates MLK Day of Service

 My first assignment made the cover! The article is below…


In response to President Obama’s call to service in celebration of 2009’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, Miami Dade College students teamed up with local volunteers on projects all over the city.

On Thursday, January 15, 2009 at the MDC Inter-American campus, Miami held an official kick-off in celebration of Dr. King’s 80th birthday. Presenters included Barrington Irving, the youngest person and first African American to fly solo around the world when he was 22 years old, and members from participating local organizations.

 Throughout his speech, Irving shared his fears and aspirations with an audience full of MDC students and managed to hold their attention. That having been quite a feat on its own, he went on to explain how at the age of 21, he created and pioneered a non-profit organization called Experience Aviation.

 Irving not only paved they way for young pilots and entrepreneurs everywhere, he also showed the world that age was truly just a number.

While the national holiday fell on Monday, January 19, 2009, Miami was, as always, one step ahead.

On Saturday, January 17, 2009, MDC students from all campuses volunteered to work on various projects located from Overtown to Homestead.

 One of the first volunteer sites was at the Yvonne Learning Center in Little Haiti, where the event began with an empowering opening speech by Joe Seager, a local activist and attorney during the Civil Rights Movement. The volunteers, being lead by Service for Peace and City Year, worked on five projects including a street clean-up, planting of gardens in and around the school and a global scrapbook.

 Other projects throughout the city included a clean-up of the Miami River behind an elderly center in Little Havana, the beautification of a local canal in Carol City and the re-vamping of Liberty Square, the oldest government building in Miami.

 When asked why she choose to volunteer, Raquel Casadilla, an MDC student said, “being here and meeting people that have done service all around the world, shows me that I can do my small part too.”

 Across the nation, in celebration of this national day of service, there were over 12,000 projects and millions of volunteers in memory of Dr. King.

 During Miami’s MLK Day of Service, residents of all ages, backgrounds and religions came together for one purpose…to celebrate change.

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