WINCHESTER, VA- Their goal is to "remember, unite and serve," and for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the students of Shenandoah University have committed their campus to those principles.
"He stressed service and giving back as part of his speech and kind of his lifestyle, says Nick Ruxton, a junior at Shenandoah University. "That's one thing that this university is kind of involved in, is service."
The Americorps VISTA's (Volunteers in Service to America) joined forces with the campus spiritual life to create a volunteer fair for community programs. From crisis counseling, to health care to mentoring, the students are dedicated to serving their communities.
"One of my favorite quotes from Dr. King is that 'everyone can be great, because everyone can serve," says Mike Madden an Americorps VISTA at Shenandoah. "I think that not only sums up what we're trying to do here today, but also it sums up how you take service and your community."
"What it means to me is equality across the board," says Ruxton. "The world has injustices. Just giving back and coming together as a community is just something that I think is important and that the country really needs."
Although the students have no first-hand memories of the civil rights struggles of Dr. King's time, they are committed to his message of equality and justice.
"I think in their generation, they look at humanity in a much more global way than perhaps my generation did when we were concerned about voter rights and civil rights and women's rights," says Madden. "I think they've expanded what we did as a generation into an even broader perspective."
"It's small steps to get to a big goal," says Ruxton, "and this is just one of those small steps."