By Ian Reitz
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
At College Possible Philadelphia, we are committed to serving the Philadelphia region by supporting students from low-income backgrounds on their journeys to earning college degrees. During this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, AmeriCorps members and staff participated in service projects throughout George Washington High School, one of our six partner high schools. AmeriCorps members and staff assisted George Washington staff and students with data entry, designing and painting a mural, and painting a bathroom and an office.
These service projects helped to revitalize the environment and atmosphere for students at George Washington. “An important aspect of Community schools is offering a positive and welcoming school environment for students and families. Thanks to the volunteers from College Possible, we were able to do just that,” says Andrea DiMola, Community Schools Coordinator Supervisor in the mayor’s office. “Adding a fresh coat of paint to student bathrooms and creating a hallway mural are some of the projects that go a long way in showing students that they are valued in their schools.”
“Serving on MLK Day is a great way to use your time to give back to your community,” said Shonda Williams, a college community partners team member and coordinator of the event. This project is an important step in strengthening the relationship with the community College Possible serves. In addition to coordinating the event, Shonda designed the mural that was painted by AmeriCorps coaches and staff. “I got the idea of using the solar system because it expands forever,” she explains. “I hope that when a student passes and looks at the mural, they feel like they have no limits and can do anything they desire.”
AmeriCorps service members also reflected on the impact that their service projects will have on the school. “I really enjoyed being a part of creating a vision that will attract eyes, open minds and inspire students to take action toward achieving their own dreams,” says Dominque Homer, who serves as a junior high school coach at Murrell Dobbins Career and Technical High School.
The day concluded with AmeriCorps members and staff attending a screening of the documentary A Personal Statement, presented by Philadelphia School Counselors United.
By Ian Reitz