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MLK Day January 2013
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LWC Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day with Service

Posted on Monday, January 21, 2013 [8:05 PM]

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Emma Newton drove more than three hours to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday at Lindsey Wilson College. Newton, a senior at Rowan County High School, was among more than 30 LWC staff members, students and guests who participated in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

Sponsored by the Lindsey Wilson Bonner Scholars Program, the day included community-service projects, a discussion of King's "I Have a Dream" speech and a conference call with former Bonner Foundation President Wayne Meisel.

Officially, college offices were closed and classes were not held Monday -- which members of the LWC Bonner Leaders Program used to make a difference in the area.

The Bonner students and guests decorated t-shirts for the Lake Cumberland Advocacy Center in Jamestown, Ky. The t-shirts will be worn as examination gowns by alleged victims of child sexual abuse.

Bonner leaders also made Valentine's Day cards for resident of Summit Manor Nursing Home in Columbia and wrote letters to U.S. military personnel stationed overseas as part of "A Million Thanks" campaign.

"We wanted this to be a day 'on' instead of a day 'off,'" said LWC Bonner Scholars Co-Director Amy Thompson-Wells.

Newton, who plans to enroll at LWC in the fall, said she was drawn to the day because she loves community service and is interested in joining the LWC Bonner Scholars program.

"I loved being here, and I love helping out," said Newton, of Morehead, Ky. "I have such a heart for people I cannot not be here."

In addition to getting current LWC students involved, celebrating MLK Day with service projects is also an excellent way to expose prospective LWC students to service-learning opportunities at the college, Thompson-Wells said.

Two years ago, DeResha Walkup of Paducah, Ky., was one of those prospective students when she came to the day as a high school senior. Now a LWC sophomore, she said experiencing Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is a good opportunity for her to put her values into action.

"It was a very good experience, and it brought me to the college," Walkup said.

Because this year's service day coincided with a presidential inauguration, participants worked on service projects while listening to President Obama deliver his second inaugural address.

"It was a great conversation-starter for us," Walkup said. "It definitely opened people's eyes that there is more than the small communities they live in."

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Click here to see more pictures from the day.

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