Students from WMU-Cooley Law School honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., on Monday, Jan. 21, by volunteering to spend time with foster children at Everyday Blessings in Thonotosassa, Florida. This was the fifth year WMU-Cooley volunteers have commemorated Dr. King’s birthday by providing activities for foster children living at the facility during the law school’s Equal Access to Justice Day.
“As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King said in his speech about service in 1968: ‘Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve,’” said Alicia E. Smith, president of Black Law Students Association-Tampa Bay. “BLSA-Tampa Bay is committed to achieving greatness through service -- a key component to becoming a successful and competent professional.”
Each year, WMU-Cooley Enrollment and Student Services Coordinator Tony Alvarado, works with leaders from the law school’s various student organizations to prepare for the annual Equal Access to Justice service project on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
During their time at Everyday Blessings, the law students led activities, including having the children read portions of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and played games that helped the children learn about King and the importance of commemorating his civil rights efforts. WMU-Cooley students also donated sports equipment and books for the foster children at Everyday Blessings.
“The kids like to see familiar faces -- that’s very important to them,” said Pam Bell, development director at Everyday Blessings. “If we didn’t receive support from the community and schools like Cooley Law School we couldn’t do this. You can’t run a group home alone."
“It’s always heartwarming to spend time with the kids in the community,” said WMU-Cooley student Joseph Lucas.
WMU-Cooley suspends classes on its Equal Access to Justice Day in observance of MLK Day. Students, faculty and staff devote the day to reflect and attend programs on the role of law and lawyers in protecting the rights of everyone and assuring equal access to justice.