MLK service honors seven high schoolers
The Hebrew Congregation honored seven special high school students at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Shabbat service, which focuses community attention on young people who are attempting to live Dr. King's dream.
Guest speaker was Dr. David Hall, president of the University of the Virgin Islands, who gave a stirring address on the lessons to be learned from Dr. King.
Students honored were:
Byron A. Todman Jr., Charlotte Amalie High School
Nicole Joseph, Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic School
Miguel K. Powell, Seventh-Day Adventist School
Okeya Smith, Antilles School
Shantelle Eddy, Ivanna Eudora Kean High School
I-Dahlia Babrow, All Saints School
Melissa VanDrieson, V.I. Montessori School & International Academy
All seven were selected by their respective schools. Each received a $500 U.S. Savings Bond and a copy of the book, "Shared Dreams: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Jewish Community."
"The best part, however, is the honor and recognition paid to each student by their families, friends, peers and all who came to take part in this wonderful community service at the Synagogue," said Alexandra Laing, co-chair of the Congregation's Social Action Committee.
The Hebrew Congregation sets the important guidelines for the heads of the seven high schools to follow in their selection process:
1. High academic achievement.
2. Direct involvement in community activities and religious organizations that improve the quality of life for the community as a whole and/or for individuals in the community.
3. Specific ways that the student has fulfilled "The Dream" of Dr. King.
This year, Laing said, "We required each student to write a short essay as though Dr. King had asked the question, 'What would you do to change the community, the nation, or the world (choose one) for the better?'"
The seven students read their essays from the pulpit.