YMCA celebrates Dr. King’s legacy, honors local student

YMCA celebrates Dr. King’s legacy, honors local student

Ryan Alamo of Coral Reef High School receives the Youth Leadership Award.

The YMCA of South Florida’s 12th annual MLK Inspirational Weekend made a huge impact on the community. The weekend of inspirational events helped keep Dr. King’s legacy alive by reminding all to use our voices to speak up for what is right while using our hands to serve our neighbors.

The Y began its celebration of Dr. King with an Inspirational Breakfast at First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale, followed by an Inspirational Luncheon at Temple Israel in Miami. More than 800 community and business leaders came out to hear words from civil rights activist Diane Nash. Nash is best known for integrating lunch counters and organizing the Freedom Rides.

As Nash reflected on her fight for justice, she reminded the audience that for change to happen, it has to start with you.

“We changed ourselves and decided we were not going to stand for segregation,” she said. “When you change yourself, the world has to fit up against the new you.”

Undeterred by jail time and fierce opposition, Nash said she persevered for generations unborn.

“Even though we hadn’t met you, we loved you,” Nash said.

She gave the audience a challenge. She reminded the audience that social injustices are still present today, and challenged them to speak up for future generations.

A true hero and supporter of the Y, Nash also shared that both her children learned to swim at the Y. She shares the Y’s concern for drowning prevention and investing in tomorrow’s leaders.

Student and community leaders were recognized for service and leadership at both events. Ryan Alamo from Coral Reef High School was presented with a scholarship and honored with the Youth Leadership Award for his academic success and community involvement.

The celebration continued on the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday when the Y kicked off its largest Day of Service yet. With the help of 1,500 volunteers and 22 service projects, the Y impacted more than 117,000 lives in the community — from foster care children to homeless veterans, and families to seniors. Projects included home repairs, community and park cleanups, beautification projects, homeless veterans and foster kids care packages, and more.

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