The federal holiday that marks the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was created in 1983. It became the MLK Day of Service in 1994 with the goal of providing individuals all across the country with a day full of opportunities to serve their communities.

For many American workers, MLK Day is a day off work; even many schools are not in session.

Though there were many local service opportunities in Milwaukee, the team at Brilliance chose to spend the morning of January 18th with City Year Milwaukee at Harold S. Vincent High School of Agricultural Sciences on the northwest side of the city. City Year is an Americorps program with 27 locations around the country plus London and South Africa. With the MLK Day of Service being a national event, each of the 27 City Year sites organized service projects in their respective communities.

In Milwaukee, 558 community volunteers completed 293 murals around the school. The Brilliance team had the honor of helping paint college logo murals of several Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) and other universities in Milwaukee and across Wisconsin along the blank walls of a corridor. As students travel to and from classes, seeing college logos will become normal and natural, leading to increased awareness of the opportunities that await them.

City Year corps members led the volunteer teams, providing them with all the materials they needed to complete the murals. Logos were sketched onto the walls prior to our arrival and color printouts of the logos were provided to us, so we would know what color to put where.

Overall, the service day was a success and our team was excited to be a part of such transformation.

The MLK Day of Service is always the 3rd Monday of January. So be sure to look for opportunities in your community where you can be involved in doing something for others.