be_ixf;ym_202302 d_05; ct_50 Applications to serve for the 2023-2024 school year are due February 10. Apply now to serve with City Year.

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

First-Year ACM Taryn Painter (back row, second from left) with her Kensington High School team. To support AmeriCorps members, City...

Read more about Balancing a part-time job with your service year: A guide to working while serving

Students at Hartranft Elementary School eagerly greet City Year Philly AmeriCorps members.   In this new ongoing series, we’ll take...

Read more about City Year 101: Social-Emotional Learning and Mentorship

The school year may have started, but it’s not too late to serve with City Year Philly! We’re currently accepting...

Read more about Meet a Mid-Year AmeriCorps member: Helen Moreira, Team Leader at Bethune School

City Year Philly AmeriCorps members Andrew Gupta, Dimir Leftwich, and Saige Cornick-Turpin speak about their LACY (Leadership After City Year)...

Read more about What’s next after City Year Philly? A LACY interview with three 2021-22 AmeriCorps members
National Strategic Partners
  • AbbVie logo
  • Comcast NBC/ Universal logo
  • Deloitte logo
  • New York Life Foundation logo
  • Red Nose Day logo
National Partners
  • Bain Capital logo
  • Bank of America logo
  • Celanese logo
  • NFL Inspire Change logo
  • Taco Bell Foundation logo block for footer