By Emily Hart & Ursala Neuwirth
For the third year in a row, 351 eighth grade ambassadors from all over Massachusetts traveled to Boston for a day of service. Project 351, originally started by Governor Deval Patrick’s office during his re-inauguration in 2011, has spun off as an independent non-profit and engages all 351 ambassadors in a year-long service leadership curriculum.
On Saturday, January 26th, Project 351 and all of its contributing partners, including City Year, hosted their kickoff event at the State House. After the morning program, the student ambassadors – nominated by teachers and mentors to act as representatives for their hometowns – deployed to service sites around the city, three of which were operated by the Foundation to be Named Later Boston Civic Engagement team.
Amory Street Housing
- Amory Street Housing is owned by the Boston Housing Authority and houses middle- to low- income elderly residents.
- Ambassadors used their creativity to design backgrounds for 25 large canvas murals. Each mural was adorned with inspirational phrases and words that will surely brighten up the walls of the housing unit.
- As students left the building, inspired tenants erupted into thankful applause.
Pine Street Inn
- The Pine Street Inn is an organization located close to City Year Headquarters that aims to end homelessness through a variety of programs including street outreach, job training and housing all over Boston.
- 50 ambassadors worked to make 35 pies (280 slices), 646 birthday cards for tenants and 210 outreach bags filled with toiletries and trail mix.
- At the close of the event, Project 351 was able to donate a large amount of leftover food to the Pine Street. This was dropped off just in time, as guests waited in line for dinner.
The Hennigan Complex
- Ambassadors repainted three classrooms and a beautiful mural in the entranceway, welcoming families and visitors to this Boston Center for Youth and Families.
- The students painted the Early Learning Center’s logo upon its walls, giving the center an official home within the Hennigan Complex.
- Thanks to the ambassadors’ diligent service, each student at the Hennigan will receive a resource kit filled with flashcards and other helpful learning tools.
- Students and teachers will also be able to utilize a repurposed storage room behind the stage and enjoy an inspiring mural that serves as a centerpiece in the cafeteria.