35th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast held in Springfield

Scholarship breakfast will recognize Ben Swan, Sr. for his 22 years of service

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Academic excellence was recognized today in Springfield, while paying tribute to the memory and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior.

Shereese Kelly told 22News, “As we all know education is the key to everybody’s future so it feels wonderful to be able to foster this type of excellence.”

For the 35th year, Wesley United Methodist Church sponsored the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Scholarship breakfast…an event that celebrates America’s young minds… and future leaders.

Catharine Cummings, a Pastor at Wesley United Methodist Church, said “The importance of civil rights, academic excellence, it starts with building our youth.”

This year 3 Springfield high school seniors were awarded a coveted scholarship. The theme for this year’s breakfast is ‘leadership in challenging times.’ The three scholarship recipients all have at least a 3.5 GPA and are active members within the community.

Alexa Gray, a scholarship recipient, said, “Definitely it makes me want to keep doing more, keep moving in the right direction because it’s obviously making a difference.”

Hundreds gathered at the Sheraton hotel in downtown Springfield to celebrate these 3 exceptional high

Another recipient, Franchesca Bethel, told 22News, “It feels amazing to be here and receive this Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship being from an inner city school in Springfield.”

Scholarship recipient Israel Robinson says this has inspired him to stand up for what he believes in, just like Martin Luther King Jr. did in the 60s.

Israeal Robinson, the third recipient, said “Invest in the minds of the future right now because they’re the future for tomorrow so if we don’t than there will be no future.”

Parents and students told 22News through events like this, they hope to keep Martin Luther King Jr’s message alive for years to come.