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Day of Service Commemorates Dr. King, His Vision for Stronger Society

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On January 19, 2015, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, approximately 100 UCF students with Volunteer UCF and 75 City Year Orlando volunteers convened at Orlando's Barker Park for a day of service to commemorate the civil rights leader and his vision for a stronger society. Volunteers planted trees, picked up trash, and scrubbed boardwalks and walls so the residents in this Parramore area park can enjoy this public space.

Following three hours of work, volunteers were provided lunch, during which Thomas Bryer, associate professor of public administration and director of the Center for Public and Nonprofit Management, gave remarks about the significance of the day and volunteer service. Bryer noted how the proof of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s impact is in how thousands of citizens picked up the torch and continued his fight. Students were challenged to think about their legacy as citizens.

"Though most of us will not rise to any high office or position of significant power, we still must think about our legacy as citizens," Bryer said. "When you move on from UCF or when your life comes to an end, what torch will others pick up that you carried? What fight will they continue?"

Following his remarks, Bryer presented copies of his new book, National Service and Volunteerism: Achieving Impact in Our Communities, to leaders of Volunteer UCF, who contributed to a chapter about their organization.

"Volunteer UCF is an organization that is continuing the legacy of Dr. King," he said. "It is thrilling to have a chapter in the book that memorializes the work of this organization so that lessons learned can be shared with students across the United States."  

Volunteer UCF is dedicated to promoting civic engagement and education on various social issues to the UCF student body. Learn more at


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