Superintendent Jeffrey Marsden and Blake Middle School Principal Nathaniel Vaughn have announced that eighth grade student Zina Avagyan has been named as a participant for this year’s Project 351 service initiative.
Avagyan has been selected as Medfield’s student ambassador for Project 351, which brings together one student from each of the 351 communities in Massachusetts for a year’s worth of community service, leadership development and civic engagement.
Founded by Governor Deval Patrick in 2011, Project 351 allows its student ambassadors to develop the skills and confidence to mobilize their schools and communities in various service campaigns. Ambassadors are selected by educators in their community based on their kindness, compassion, humility, gratitude and dedication to helping others.
Avagyan joined fellow ambassadors for the Project’s Launch and Service Day on Saturday, Jan. 18, meant to coincide with Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Governor Baker, First Lady Lauren Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito hosted students at the celebration at Boston’s Faneuil Hall.
“We are proud and honored that Zina will be representing Blake and the community of Medfield as part of Project 351,” Principal Vaughn said. “She is a civic-minded, supportive and caring student. She has a vested interest in the well-being of others and has expressed an interest in having a future in politics. She is positive and inclusive, and although she is new to our school community this year she has formed deep connections with all students and staff.”
Ambassadors have several opportunities to serve their community throughout the year, including collecting donations for Cradles to Crayons in the spring, honoring veterans at Memorial Day parades in May, partnering with the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund to pay tribute to local and statewide victims of Sept. 11, and raising awareness, resources and food donations to restock the shelves of their hometown food pantry after Thanksgiving and in advance of the December holidays.
Since its inception, more than 3,300 ambassadors have served more than 720,000 neighbors through youth-led service campaigns.