Instituto del Progreso Latino

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AmeriCorps: MLK Day of Service

In September 2015, I raised my right hand and pledged “to get things done for America.” I began my AmeriCorps LENS service in the department of Carreras en Salud assisting the Employment Specialist.

On the Martin Luther King, Jr. National day of Service, our AmeriCorps LENS cohort from Insitituto del Progreso Latino, other AmeriCorps teams, Chicago Public School students, community members and other organizations participated in a community service project at Kelly High School and Brighton Park Elementary School to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This day was a day on, not a day off for me and many of our members.

It was a full house along with special guests Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth and former U.S Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, among others. The day started with physical activities led by AmeriCorps members to get us ready for the day. After the physical activities, we proceeded to our designated areas. The AmeriCorps LENS members from Instituto del Progreso Latino and other volunteers helped transformed the school by painting classrooms, decorating the halls with murals and inspirational quotes for students to enjoy. One of my favorite quotes from a banner being created that I saw was from José Martí, “Books console us, calm us, prepare us, enrich us and redeem us.”

We concluded the day by reflecting on the impact of our service and the challenges we still face and must continue to tackle in our communities. I am glad to be part of AmeriCorps LENS at Instituto del Progreso Latino and proud that our cohort was able to assist in this capacity