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Students to Participate in National MLK Day of Service on Monday            ​ 

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – JANUARY 16, 2014 – It will feel like any other weekday during the semester when Jordy Lopez gets out of bed and turns off his alarm on Monday, Jan. 20.

Lopez, of Matamoros, Mexico and a senior mathematics major and an art minor at The University of Texas at Brownsville, will participate in the local commemoration of the 2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on MLK Jr. Day, the federally designated national holiday.

The university’s Office of Leadership Programs will sponsor the day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Dean Porter Park on East Ringgold Street. More than 800 volunteers are needed to work on at least 30 projects throughout the city from 8:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Some of the locations and activities scheduled include animal enrichment at Gladys Porter Park, cleaning up a community garden with the Brownsville Parks and Recreation Department and interacting with residents at Ebony Lake Health Care Center.

UT Brownsville Math student Jordy Lopez will be participating in his third MLK Day of Service. Photographed on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2014.

Lopez will not know where he will be working until he is given his volunteer assignment at the park. During past service days Lopez has cleared a trail at Lincoln Park and removed guinea grass at Resaca de la Palma State Park in Olmito.

“It was a fun experience,” said Lopez. “Not only do I help serve the community but I’m able to have relationships with other students. I think it helped me socially”

Brownsville resident Gina Hinojosa, 20, a junior early childhood – sixth grade English as a Second Language specialist major, will read a book about Martin Luther King Jr. to third grade students at Garza Elementary School.

“I feel that volunteering for this event will give me great experience in my field of study and it will allow me to fulfill my passion which is teaching children and I hope to make a difference in their lives,” said Hinojosa. “It is important for me to participate in this activity with all the UTB University Scholars because we are doing a good deed.”

Lopez learned about the day of service when he was a student at Brownsville’s Valley Christian High School where he graduated in 2011.

“I do like helping the community,” he said. “Even though I’m not from here I like to help over here.”

Estella Martinez, Coordinator for the Center for Civic Engagement, said staff and students will be at the event to register participants to vote. The center’s Project 100% will announce the winners of the Dreamers and the Dream Essay Contest at noon at Dean Porter Park. The winners will be given the opportunity to read their winning essays at the event.

Click here to register to work on a local volunteer project or see where projects are taking place.

The U.S. Congress designated the MLK Jr. Day of Service in 1994. The volunteer day is under the federal Corporation for National and Community Service and is part of President Barack Obama’s United We Service initiative.

For more information contact Heather Olague, Director of Student Engagement, at 956-882-5775 or heather.olague@utb.edu.

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