Living MLK’s dream through service

Being a first year Corps Member, this was my first MLK service day with City Year. I have been looking forward to this particular service day since I first started serving.

The elementary school we served at was re-named after their beloved principal Daniel Lairon who had passed away midway through the 2009-2010 school year. I was excited to be able to give something back to this school and community where students, parents, teachers and the present principal could come back to school Tuesday and see what the hard work of dedicated volunteers could do for their school.

That morning I drove up to the school with Dr. King’s words in my head, thinking about what my own dream was.

My dream is precisely what I am doing today. I have the wonderful opportunity to serve everyday and be a role model to children.

Dr. King was adamant about spreading powerful words of change in our world. When I came to serve in San Jose, I came in with this idea that by the end of the year I was going to have every student walk away with a sense of pride and self-confidence. I was honored to be able to paint murals that had inspirational quotes from Dr. King, Cesar Chavez, and their late principal Daniel Lairon. These words that will be displayed all around the campus will hopefully inspire the students of Daniel Lairon Elementary to pursue their dreams.

After the murals were complete, I moved outside to help re-vamp the blacktop. Corps Members and volunteers gathered with brightly colored paint and stormed the four square courts with paintbrushes in hand. By the time we were done, the school had large brightly colored squares for students to play on as well as a fresh map of the world painted on their blacktop.

Every time the students walk through their hallways or into their cafeteria and see brightly colored murals with quotations from passionate people that all shared a similar dream, these students will know that someday they can accomplish whatever they believe in.

At City Year, we all have a common dream. That dream is to see great achievement in the students and communities we serve. I left MLK Day wishing that I could do it all over again the next day.

I too have a dream; my dream is that one day all children will be given equal opportunities no matter their background or where they come from. My dream is to see children succeed and have them believe that they too can achieve greatness in life.

Katherine Grundt, Corps Member CYSJ

Photos and video footage by Romel Antoine, Team Leader CYSJ

Video Montage by Megan Baker, Recruitment Project Leader & Social Media Manager CYSJ

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