Eighth-graders recognized for leadership skills

Three Lynn eighth-grade students will be representing Lynn Public Schools at the annual Project 351 day in Boston today. From left, Wesley Chandler (Pickering Middle School), Liana Lebron (Marshall Middle School) and Joseph Ucheigwe (Breed). (Courtesy photo)

LYNN — Lynn will be well represented today when eighth-grade students from every city and town in the state descend on Boston to meet some important people, interact with their peers and perform community service.

Wesley Chandler of Pickering Middle School, Liana Lebron of Marshall and Joseph Ucheigwe of Breed were selected to represent the city as Project 351 Ambassadors. Project 351 is an independent, nonprofit organization that celebrates youth leadership and community service.

Project 351 Ambassadors are given unique service and civic-engagement opportunities throughout the year, starting with the kickoff event, which is held annually around Martin Luther King Day.

The Lynn students were scheduled to head into Boston for a series of events, starting and ending at the John F. Kennedy Library. After breakfast and an opening ceremony headlined by Gov. Charlie Baker, the students will participate in high-impact community-service projects throughout the city, have lunch, and return to the JFK Library for a celebration to end the day. They will also hear from Bill Richard, father of Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard.

“This is an amazing chance for eighth-graders to be acknowledged by society. It’s an opportunity that not everyone gets,” said Ucheigwe, a National Junior Honor Society member who enjoys playing football and gaming.

“It’s great that everyone can come together and work as a community,” said LeBron, an NJHS student who participates in various fundraisers at Marshall and whose favorite class is science.

“It will be great to help show the positives about our city,” said Chandler, an honor roll student who plays basketball and football and also lists science as his favorite class. “I think it will be a good opportunity to interact with other people and see how we are different and alike.”

Since its founding in 2011, there have been 2,622 Project 351 Ambassadors who have provided community service to more than 405,000 people throughout the state. Those selected are considered true leaders in their schools.

“We get to represent our school in front of all of Massachusetts,” Ucheigwe said. “It’s exciting to all come together and work to make our state a better place for every one of us.”

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