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Martin Luther King Jr., (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968). He was a co-pastor of a church in Atlanta, Georgia with his grandfather until his death. Martin graduated high school at age fifteen and graduated with his B.A. from Morehouse University in the year 1948.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was devoted to equality, social justice, and economic opportunities for everyone. One of his most famous quotes was, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?” In 1994, the government decided that every third Monday in January was a national holiday in his honor. It is a national call to service day for everyone.

Many people take the "day off" for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but each year, City Year sites across the country commemorate Dr. King's legacy with a "day on" for service.

More than 300 volunteers made up of Tulsa AmeriCorps members, students, teachers, school, community and corporate partners, came together this year to help transform and beautify Hale Jr. High School.

Projects included: murals, painting and light construction projects in an effort to reconnect, transform, uplift, and inspire the students, staff, and community.

Here are some of the memories I captured from helping to plan and participating in this year’s event:

These are AmeriCorps members part of our Service Reserves group that are hard at work on our prep night. This team met in October and January to brainstorm ideas about the murals. They also did three nights of prep to get things ready for our volunteers.

Our entire corps jumped in the Friday before to help finish preparing for our service day on Monday. Once we got our scaffolding, we were able to start taping our stairwells into geometric patterns.

AmeriCorps member, Dorothy Mims, is hard at work at the paint station to help Team Leader, Jessica Butay get paint for her project.

These volunteers and AmeriCorps members on the right are working on the logo, and on your left they are working on teach to one signs to go in the math hallway.

AmeriCorps members and volunteers are making benches for outside and inside the hallways.

A team of City Year alumni and volunteers got too paint the school creed and catch up while painting.

These are a couple of our finished projects from the day.

Our Executive Director, Paul Davis, spoke about how grateful he was for everyone who volunteered to serve with us for the day.

I believe this day was an absolute success. The project went smoothly without hiccups and I think we carried our Dr. Martin Luther King’s mission. One of my favorite quotes from him is, “The time is always right to do what is right.” I think we did right by Hale Jr. High and I know that they will enjoy all of our hard work for years to come.

To see even more memories from our day of service captured by Emily Steward Photography, visit our Facebook photo album. #MLKDay #CYMLK

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