Martha’s Vineyard students join Governor Patrick for project 351

Governor Deval Patrick joined students from Martha's Vineyard and across the state in the State House as they prepared for a day of community service. — Photo by Eric Haynes

On Saturday, January 26, six Martha’s Vineyard eighth-graders traveled to the State House in Boston to join other students from across the Commonwealth for a day of service as part of Project 351, a community service initiative Governor Deval Patrick began a few years ago.

Governor Patrick hosted a Youth Town Meeting at the State House Saturday morning, before joining the students for an afternoon of service at five nonprofit and educational organizations across Boston, according to a press release.

“I welcome Project 351 ambassadors from across the Commonwealth to the State House as we unite in the spirit of service,” said Governor Patrick. “Project 351 is designed to inspire, challenge and motivate our next generation of leaders to give back and make a significant impact in our community.”

The young people that participated were all nominated by education leaders in their hometowns, based on their exemplary service ethic and spirit of generosity.

The Island ambassadors included West Tisbury School students Jailyn Hill of Aquinnah; Alex Look of West Tisbury and Caroline Roddy of Chilmark; Edgartown School student Ava Thors of Edgartown; Oak Bluffs School student Danielle Hopkins of Oak Bluffs; and Tisbury School student Ben Nadelstein of Tisbury.

At each location, community partners and volunteers spoke to the eighth-graders about the impact of their service.

“Today’s events celebrate the unlimited potential of young people to create positive change across our Commonwealth,” said Carolyn Casey, Executive Director of Project 351. “We hope that the skills, enrichment, and friendships gained will inspire the Ambassadors’ continued service and engagement of their communities.”

The events concluded at the State House, where Governor Patrick led the ambassadors in a reflection on the impact of their work as well as a celebration of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.