On the 25th anniver­sary of the hol­iday hon­oring Martin Luther King Jr., about 250 North­eastern Uni­ver­sity stu­dents and other vol­un­teers joined for a day of ser­vice projects and lead­er­ship work­shops on campus and in Boston’s neighborhoods.

For more than a decade, North­eastern has held the King Day of Ser­vice and Lead­er­ship, which cel­e­brates King’s life by dis­patching vol­un­teers and working with the com­mu­nity to create pos­i­tive out­comes through ser­vice. For the past three years, North­eastern has part­nered with the Mass­a­chu­setts Promise Fel­low­ship to inte­grate lead­er­ship work­shops into the ser­vice day. The orga­ni­za­tion, which is head­quar­tered in the University’s Center of Com­mu­nity Ser­vice, places fel­lows who commit to a year of ser­vice at non­profits, schools and city agen­cies across Mass­a­chu­setts to develop, lead, and manage youth devel­op­ment projects.

During the opening cer­e­mony at Curry Stu­dent Center, John Tobin, Northeastern’s vice pres­i­dent of city and com­mu­nity rela­tions, told vol­un­teers, “We honor Dr. King’s legacy by walking on his path, by acting as he acted, and by being the change we want to see in this world.” Tobin said this com­mit­ment is also an exten­sion of the daily work con­ducted by the Center of Com­mu­nity Service.

The ceremony’s keynote speaker, Este­niolla Maitre, a high school senior at Boston Arts Academy, urged par­tic­i­pants to make ser­vice a part of their everyday lives. “Com­mu­nity ser­vice is not some­thing that you do. The act of serving is some­thing that you are,” she said.

After the cer­e­mony, vol­un­teers dashed off to projects in four of Boston’s neigh­bor­hoods. At St. Stephen’s Epis­copal Church in the South End, par­tic­i­pants led engaging classes in sci­ence and dance for a host of beaming ele­men­tary students.

North­eastern senior Nadia Alvarez said this was her fifth year par­tic­i­pating in the King Day of Ser­vice. Not only is it rewarding to con­nect with chil­dren in the com­mu­nity, she said, but the event gives North­eastern stu­dents a chance to dis­cover the neigh­bor­hoods beyond campus.

Stu­dents come together and learn more about the com­mu­nity around campus, and they can also meet new class­mates and find out about other orga­ni­za­tions that exist on campus,” Alvarez said.

Back on campus, one of the ser­vice projects—organized by the North­eastern Mural Club—involved painting murals to be donated to the John Winthrop Ele­men­tary School in Dorch­ester and the Yawkey Boys and Girls Club in Roxbury.

Susandi Htut, a North­eastern freshman orig­i­nally from Burma, con­tinued her pas­sion for com­mu­nity ser­vice by taking a paint brush to canvas. “I think this is a good way of hon­oring (Dr. King), and if he were alive today, I’m sure he’d like seeing people giving back to the com­mu­nity through ser­vice,” Htut said.

The King Day of ser­vice also high­lights Northeastern’s com­mit­ment to urban engage­ment, a cen­tral part of the University’s mis­sion. North­eastern stu­dents col­lec­tively per­form 110,000 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice annu­ally, and the Uni­ver­sity has built strong rela­tion­ships with 200 partner community-​​service organizations.