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Why We Serve

Today, College Possible will observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by dedicating a day of service to our communities in Saint Paul, Milwaukee, Omaha, Portland, Chicago and Philadelphia. I’ve been reflecting on some of the linkages between Dr. King’s legacy and our work here at College Possible. Last year, at this same time, the Huffington Post published a refection I wrote about MLK.  I encourage you to check it out.

While there are many aspects of our work that draw deeply on the ideas and concepts that MLK taught, today I want to focus on our connection to the idea of “service.”  MLK famously said, “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.

This idea that service is a way to express the grace that’s in your heart is powerful. It is such a simple concept, and yet, service to others has a long and deep history in America. Since our founding as a country we’ve been called on to serve our neighbors, our fellow citizens and ultimately our nation.  AmeriCorps and VISTA are a key part of how our nation has sought to create specific opportunities for Americans to join forces in service to solve some of our most pressing social problems. This year tens of thousands of Americans will serve through AmeriCorps and VISTA all across America.

Sharing your talents and gifts with others through service is the ultimate expression of generosity.  Former Senator John McCain often talked about the importance of service in becoming a complete person: “Nothing in life is more liberating than to fight for a cause larger than yourself, something that encompasses you but is not defined by your existence alone.” For our AmeriCorps members, service at College Possible helps to provide that kind of deep, enriching experience that liberates you in this powerful way.

So as we reflect on MLK Day 2019, I want to thank each and every member of the College Possible team for dedicating themselves to the cause of ensuring that everyone in America gets a fair shot to go as far as their talents and efforts can take them.  We celebrate and honor the memory and legacy of MLK by committing ourselves to changing the world for the amazing students we are privileged to serve.  On behalf of everyone associated with College Possible, and especially our students, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for joining our cause.

by Jim McCorkell

View the photos of our service days from across the country.

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