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      MLK Day of Service

      Widener University Reflects on and Celebrates the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

      Hoops From the Heart

      Tasjah Davis, a sophomore accounting major and a member of the women’s basketball team, mentors a young participant in the Hoops From the Heart clinic held on the MLK Day of Service.

      Widener University took part in a number of community and tribute events as the nation paused to reflect on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

      Even though there were no classes on Monday, Jan. 16 in observance of the national holiday, Widener marked the occasion on campus and in Chester, where King once studied.

      Widener students took part in the city of Chester’s MLK celebration, based out of the Chester Salvation Army. They did community service projects like painting and assembling toiletry kits for veterans, said Ariel Armstrong, program coordinator in the Office of Civic Engagement. The experience culminated in a march to Crozer–Chester Medical Center, where hospital officials had a wreath-laying ceremony. King earned his bachelor of divinity degree at the Chester Theological Seminary, which is now part of the medical center grounds.

      Students also worked at other sites off campus, including:

      • The Frederick Douglass Christian School, where they helped prepare for the upcoming school semester with painting, cleaning and planting work.
      • The Chester Housing Authority, where they did activities with children.
      • The Chester Boys and Girls Club, where they cleaned and organized the facility.
      • Chester Lifewerks, a food pantry where they sorted donations.

      Armstrong said she organized about 100 students, including a large contingent from Alpha Phi Omega fraternity, into the service opportunities.

      “The eagerness from the students to be actively involved in the community has really stood out,” Armstrong said.

      Hoops From the Heart

      The university also hosted a basketball clinic for children in first through eighth grades through the Hoops From the Heart initiative. Four area schools collaborated to present clinics, in which registration fees benefitted the homeless shelters of the Community Action Agency of Delaware County, Inc. Participants also brought non-perishable food donations with them to the Schwartz Athletic Center, where they spent Monday morning learning basketball skills with Widener coaches and athletes.

      "I have been participating in this clinic for three years now, and I can honestly say it is always a great experience," said junior women's basketball captain Nikki Petri. "Both basketball teams provide different types of activities for the children. We all have a lot of fun helping these kids work on their basketball skills while celebrating this important holiday each year."

      PT Day of Service

      PT Day of Service

      Physical Therapy doctoral students administer blood pressure readings as part of their day of service to honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

      Additional Reflections and Service Projects

      Projects also happened outside of Monday. The Black Student Union hosted a commemorative MLK Service on Tuesday, Jan. 17. The organization event involved students who performed poems, dances and reflections, said Tajiah McHenry, president of the group. The event was held in in Alumni Auditorium.

      Students with the Chester Community Physical Therapy Clinic went out to 10 sites in the community on Friday, Jan. 13, including assisted living facilities with elderly residents, to conduct various health screenings. In total, the PT students administered 125 blood pressure readings and helped to clean and check 59 assistive devices such as walkers and canes.


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