UTB Students Give Back to Community in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King


POSTED: Monday, January 17, 2011 - 3:41pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 - 9:23am

Several hundred people got a little dirty in an effort to clean up the city; Monday marked a “Day of Service” in Brownsville. A large number of UTB Student surpassed a day off in order to help others, in honor of Martin Luther King. Jr.

Our goal you can say is to make a difference.” said Eli DeLeon, the Keep Brownsville Beautiful Program Coordinator.

And they are. They could be relaxing on their day off, but they are not, they are working.

"We're just trying to show a little love for the community...it's kind of our way of, ya know, showing that we should do something for others, like MLK, that's the point." said UTB Freshman Jessica Hernandez, as she rolled white paint on to a run down brick wall.

Many businesses and schools are closed Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., but hundreds of students have given up a day of relaxing, to paint, pick up trash, landscape and build. It's a day of service; these students way of honoring the slain civil rights leader.

Old City Cemetery is just one of the ten cleanup sites. It's estimated that roughly 400 students, staff and alumni from UTB are out making a difference today.

They are volunteering their time and efforts to better the city of Brownsville for the residents who live here.

"If people come in from the outside, to Brownsville, you want them to know Brownsville for all its prettiness and you don't want them to remember it's trashy or dirty, you want it to be clean." said painter,  UTB Freshman, Eva Robles.

Giving up a day off to do something for others came easy for many of these students.

"I thought why not, because it's the neighborhood I grew up in... just give back to the community." said 19 year old student, Ernie Thibodeaux, as he picked up leaves.

The city wide clean up was student driven, and made up of Scorpion Scholars, and supported by the Student Affairs and the Center for Civic Engagement offices from the University of Texas Brownsville. They also worked in conjunction with "Keep Brownsville Beautiful" to identify sites that needed a little TLC.

"Historically MLK did so much for civil rights, I mean there's no way you can, i mean it's really almost a daunting though to try and give back as much as he did, but I just thought it's a great way to honor his memory in any little way you can giving back to your community as a way to honor him." said UTB Freshman Wesley Roberts.


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