SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Martin Luther King Jr. Day is this Monday, and members of the Springfield community have already started celebrating the man who had a dream. Members of the Wesley United Methodist Church sang, danced, and ate together for the 33rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Scholarship Breakfast to honor two outstanding Springfield students.
Kim Huyhn and Sommers Smith were each awarded a $2,500 scholarship for academic excellence and community service.
Scholarship winner Huyhn told 22News what she plans on doing with the money. “Probably save it for college, that’s the best thing to do right now,” says Huyhn. “I want to go to UCBerkley for a business major.”
There were more than 300 people at the breakfast, and all of the proceeds go towards next year’s scholarship .In light of the violence and protests that have gone on around the country to protect the rights of black men and women, the breakfast had even more significance this year.
Pastor Calvin McFadden of St. John’s parish in Springfield told 22News, “It’s all of our work that lives matter. And there is still work to be done not only in Springfield, not only in Ferguson, but all across this country. And today is just a wonderful day to be reminded of that, and to recommit ourselves to the continued work that needs to be done.”
Huyhn and Smith each wrote an essay explaining how they connected to one of Dr. King’s speeches. They wrote about leading by example a life that shows equality to everyone, and being advocates for civil right issues.
“I’m just so glad to see young people out standing up for their god given rights as well as their civil rights to make this world a better place,” says Reverend Catharine Cummings of Wesley United Methodist Church.
Scholarship winner Sommers Smith told 22News, “I just know that God’s done a lot for me and I’m just blessed to be here and have this opportunity”
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Monday, January 19th.