On Monday, January 16th, 2012 IYAG joined City Year for their annual MLK day of service project to rehabilitate Dunbar High-School in Washington DC. City Year Washington, DC unites young people, ages 17 to 24, from all backgrounds for a year of full-time service, giving them the skills and opportunities to change the world. We were joined by over a 1000 other participants! We heard speeches from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Mayor Vince Gray, Chancellor Kaya Henderson, Chairman Kwame Brown, Superintendent Thomas Anderson, and City Year Washington, DC Executive Director Jeff Franco.
It turns out that Mayor Vincent Gray and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes were alums of Dunbar High School and reminded us that Dunbar High School was the first school in the US to open it’s doors to African American youth! Below are collection of tweet bites by, Elliott Smith, a Junior at St. John’s College High School and a IYAG Youth Leader, on his reflections about the city year service project.
- Awesome experience to be with over 1000 participants at Dunbar High School to help the school and surrounding community;
- Learned that my grandmother and uncle had gone to Dunbar back in the day so it was extra special to give back;
- Delighted that Education Secretary; D.C. Mayor; D.C. Council Chair; D.C. School Superintendent among other notables came to talk to us about the importance of service and kick off the event;
- Actual service project involved running about the surrounding area of Dunbar High picking up trash. Must of filled several big lawn bags full of trash. Was fun as well as satisfying.
- At the end of the day, I can say that we made the community a better place to live — isn’t that what Dr. King was all about?