(January 28, 2015)
Successful Dream Week draws record volunteers
SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary College's 7th annual Dream Week drew the participation of students, faculty, staff, and members of the community such as Mayor Ollie Tyler during the weeklong celebration of the legacy and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The week kicked off with a day of service co-sponsored by Centenary Diversity Committee and the Office of Global Engagement.
Students construct raised beds at the MLK Health Center community garden
"It is exciting to see growth in our Dream Week programming every year from the number of our volunteers, to the rise in energy," said LaToya Hemphill, Assistant Director for Community Engagement. "In seven years we've gone from one site with 50 participants to 11 sites with almost 300."
The sites in the Shreveport community gave volunteers the opportunity to lend a hand to various projects such as painting homes, building raised beds in a community garden, packing boxes for food bank clients, cleaning facilities, and decorating tote bags for students.
The remainder of Centenary's Dream Week incorporated messages addressing topics of race, society, history, and civil rights.
Mayor Ollie Tyler addressed the Centenary community on MLK Day of Service
"The Rev. Jay Augustine of St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in New Orleans spoke on actively continuing Dr. King's legacy in our own lives, and alumnus Dr. Jason Maggio spoke of finding our own Dr. Martin Luther King," said Dr. Chris Lavan '06, Director of Global Engagement. "Both messages were important and inspiring, allowing our student leaders and campus community to see Dr. King's life and legacy in a brand new way."
Centenary collaborated with the Robinson Film Center to screen films and with the City of Shreveport and Mahogany Ensemble Theatre, founded by Angelique Feaster Evans '95, to present an oratory contest. Students winning honors for their oratory include (1) Jasmine Jones of Caddo Heights Elementary, (2) D'ejah Bowman of Caddo Heights Elementary, and (3) Sha'Umbia Venious and Janetta O'Kray of Caddo Heights Elementary in the Primary Division. Junior Division winners were (1) Rachel Clottey of Youree Drive Middle School, (2) Nylah Robinson of Youree Drive Middle School, and (3) Eric Jones of Youree Drive Middle School. The Senior Division winner was Nya Caldwell of C.E. Byrd High School. The MLK Youth Leadership Award went to Kayla Waller of Loyola College Prep.