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Macomb Community College students, faculty and staff honor Martin Luther King Jr. legacy with community service

– Monday, January 11, 2016 12:00AM

Winner of Macomb’s MLK student essay contest to read her entry at college’s opening ceremony on Jan. 18

More than 400 Macomb Community College students, faculty and staff are expected to commemorate 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Day through volunteer service on the holiday, Monday, Jan. 18, as well as on the preceding Saturday, Jan. 16.

At nearly 30 sites throughout metro Detroit, Macomb volunteers will take part in community service activities such as organizing and packing food for the needy, participating in activities with senior citizens, serving food at local soup kitchens, delivering items to hospital patients and making supplies for Michigan nonprofit organizations.

“Macomb College has made an annual tradition out of embracing Dr. King’s example of service to others,” said Macomb Community College President James Jacobs. “Through their volunteer work across the metro Detroit area, our students and staff join hundreds of thousands of people across the county who are also working to honor and sustain Dr. King’s legacy.”

Macomb’s MLK Day of Service events on Jan. 18 will begin with a brief opening ceremony at 8 a.m. on the college’s South Campus in the John K. Lewis Student Community Center (K Building), off of Hayes Road, between 12 Mile and Martin roads in Warren.  Jacobs will provide opening remarks, followed by a special presentation from recent Macomb graduate Camilla Smith, 23, winner of the college’s third annual MLK Day of Service student essay contest. Smith will read her essay, “Making Martin Luther King Jr’s Dream a Reality.”

In her essay, Smith writes about her family’s move from Detroit to Sterling Heights, her experience as an African-American in a mostly white community and the challenges of dealing with expectations of friends, family and society as she grew up, as well as later as she pursued a relationship with a Greek-American  as her boyfriend.

“Back when I moved to Sterling Heights during my fourth grade year of elementary school, I learned more of MLK Jr. and black history. I always felt that he paved the way for me – as an African-American girl – to be greater than I ever imagined,” Smith said. “Also, I feel that we all have a story to our lives that can impact not only ourselves but others. I took some negative aspects of my life and turned it into the positive. I hope I can inspire others to go after what they desire.”

Smith, who still lives in Sterling Heights, earned an associate degree in pre-social work and plans to apply to Wayne State University with the goal of earning a bachelor’s degree in social work. 

An award also will be presented to Macomb media and communication arts student Daniel Stephens, 22, of Warren, winner of the college’s first MLK t-shirt design contest. Volunteers participating in this year’s event will wear the t-shirt Stephens designed.

To read or download a copy of Smith’s essay and those of finalists Alec Moleski, 19, of Warren, and Mount Clemens resident Deja Bowser, 24, click here. Also available at that link are Stephens’ t-shirt design and those of finalists Kristina Jovanoski, 28, of Shelby Township and Tabitha Zabik, 21, of Chesterfield Township.

Volunteer activities at most sites will take place between 9 a.m. and noon.

About Macomb Community College
Macomb Community College ( is one of the nation’s leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to nearly 48,000 students annually. Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges and is the largest grantor of associate degrees in Michigan. The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.

Media Contact: James Melton, 586.445.7271,