Saturday, January 29, 2011

MLK Celebration! Emily Goddard Wins a Scholarship!

January 17th was Martin Luther King's Birthday Celebration. It's a National Day of Service and a chance for all of us to remember where we've come from and where we need to go.

In my town, Teaneck, New Jersey, there is an MLK Day Birthday Celebration Committee which organizes a inter-religious and community event to honor Martin.

Theadora Lacey, the founder and organizer of the event, knew Martin personally. When she was a young woman, a new minister came to The Baxter Avenue Church, where Theadora's father was the President. That minister, so full of hope and fire, was Martin Luther King.

I'm happy to say that Theadora is my friend and a trusted community member. She has done so much to right racial injustice and to spread the message of hope in her classroom, during a lifetime of service.

This year, I was happy that a wonderful student from my high school - Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale, NJ - was nominated as a student merit winner for her service to the community.

Emily Goddard has worked as a leader of the Multicultural Task Force and was an organizer of the MLK Day of Service at our school. What's great about Emily is that she cares deeply and she's going about searching for a better world, right in her school community.

There were 24 young people nominated as merit winners and only two chosen for a college scholarship, based on their resume of service and an essay.

In that essay, Emily said that she realizes that the extraordinary things people do in the world are done by ordinary people. Well said, Emily!

I'm pictured here with Emily, proud as a peacock. Nothing makes me happier than seeing our young people take on the work of the world with passion, energy and commitment.

Martin Luther King, Jr. wasn't there to see Emily and the other fabulous young people get their awards, but his friend Theadora's eyes were shining!

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