Giving truth to Memphis youth
By Mary Katherine Dewane (White Station High School)
More than most, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived a life committed to serving others. It is fitting, then, that each year, people across America honor Dr. King by participating in the Martin Luther King Day of Service each year. And in Memphis the young people joined in those efforts.
Thirteen-year-old Lauren Lewis, newly crowned Miss Memphis Princess, will go on to represent Memphis in the Miss Tennessee Teen Pageant. One of her major passions is service. On Martin Luther King Day, she volunteered with Clean Memphis to clean up the areas around Carnes Elementary School and Memphis Medical Center. She says that she likes community service because she cares about Memphis and wants to improve her community.
She was especially excited to volunteer on Martin Luther King Day of Service, and she believes that doing community service is a way for her to continue the legacy of Dr. King.
“If different races work together,” she said. “It really promotes diversity.”
And 350 Memphis residents, including students Leadership Memphis alumni and community advocates, worked with Clean Memphis and Leadership Memphis to clear the paths around eight high schools. Those schools were Carver, East, Fairley, Hamilton, Kingsbury, Kirby, Melrose and Trezevant.
The MLK service efforts were a part of Leadership Memphis’ SUCCESS High Schools action initiative.
“With Leadership Memphis SUCCESS High Schools, we not only prepare students for college and careers with our Executive Program, we also mobilize their classes for civic engagement across multiple community service opportunities” said Andrew Bartolotta, Marketing and Communications Coordinator for Leadership Memphis.
“Partnering with Clean Memphis gives students a chance to see the impact of environmental responsibility.”
Students fellowshipped and collaborated with their peers and impacted the community they live in on their day off from school.
“I think it’s important to give back in my community because I’ve been in this neighborhood for 12 years and it’s where I go to school and live,” said Donisha McGlowen, a junior at Carver High School.