be_ixf;ym_202103 d_03; ct_50 Learn more about City Year’s response to COVID-19

MLK Day of Service 2019

On Monday, January 21, frigid winter temperatures were no match for nearly 1,000 volunteers who turned out for City Year Philadelphia’s largest service day of the year: MLK Day 2019. With temperatures in the teens and flash freezing forecasted across Philadelphia, the MLK Day of Service was — for the first time ever — pushed to a two-hour delay. Nevertheless, volunteers flocked to Kensington High School energized and ready to make better happen.

The mission: help transform the hallways and learning environments inside Kensington High. The aftermath: more than 170 inspirational murals, nine bookcases, three cubbies, and 10 new courtyard benches.

Visit our YouTube channel to see a video recap.

From community groups and corporate partners to neighbors, friends, and government officials, this year’s MLK Day of Service proved to be an all-around team effort. City Year Philadelphia is thankful to all those who spent their day at Kensington High School working to make a difference in the lives of our students.

A long line of volunteers wait to sign in at a Registration table.
Despite frigid temperatures across the Philadelphia region, hundreds showed up at Kensington High School for a day of service.

AmeriCorps member Jenny Roberts speaks from a podium on stage in an auditorium
“Our students deserve the best. They deserve to feel at home in their school. They deserve to know they have people behind them who believe in their potential. Today you are helping provide our students with all they deserve.” City Year Philadelphia AmeriCorps member Jenny Roberts kicked off the day welcoming volunteers to the MLK Day of Service at Kensington High School where she currently serves.

Dr. Lebrón speaks from the podium on stage in an auditorium
Dr. José Lebrón, Principal of Kensington High, welcomed volunteers into his school and described City Year Philly’s ongoing work with students throughout the school year.

Three Corpsmembers lead a room of volunteers in physical training.
City Year Philly’s PT Crew had the crowd on their feet and fired up for the day of service ahead.

Five volunteers pose for and smile at the camera
Congressman Brendan Boyle and School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Dr. William Hite gathered with Kensington High School’s Assistant Principal Jamie Clark, Principal Lebrón, and Assistant Principal Lauren Murphy-Sands.

Three volunteers pause from painting college logos on an interior school wall to smile for the camera
This college success wall was just one of 170 murals painted inside Kensington High. Other murals included Philly pride, a Kensington High school spirit wall, a celebration of immigration, and much more.

A line of eight volunteers and corpsmembers pose together
We were honored to have City Councilman Mark Squilla, Congressman Brendan Boyle, Mayor Jim Kenney, and State Representative MaryLouise Isaacson (not pictured) join us for our MLK Day of Service.

Two volunteers paint a mural of three children playing soccer together in a school stairwell

To see more photos, visit our MLK Day of Service Photo Gallery.

Related stories

Blaine School AmeriCorps members William Glover-Flood and Tykira Mitchell teach students about important Black figures as part of Black History...

Read more about Celebrating Black History Month with Current and Historical Black Leaders

Our City Year AmeriCorps members serve in schools to promote educational equity as student success coaches. Learn more about service...

Read more about Building a Beloved, Bilingual Community in Philadelphia

Employees at Willis Towers Watson held a school supplies drive to benefit Sullivan and Harding students, resulting in donations of...

Read more about City Year Philly FY21 Partnership Roundup Q2

City Year Philly staff and AmeriCorps members Egypt Worthy (top left), Grant Draughn (top right), Kylie Brazil (bottom left), and...

Read more about Staying Motivated During the Virtual Workday
National Strategic Partners
  • AbbVie logo
  • AT&T logo
  • Comcast NBC/ Universal logo
  • CSX logo
  • Deloitte logo
  • New York Life Foundation logo
  • Red Nose Day logo
National Partners
  • Aramark logo
  • Bank of America logo
  • Bain Capital logo
  • Celanese logo
  • NFL Inspire Change logo
  • Santander logo
  • Taco Bell Foundation logo block for footer