MLK III to Deliver Keynote Address at YouthBuild’s Class of 2013 Commencement

Community activist and son of Dr. Martin Luther King will address former high school dropouts who earned their diploma through the transformational education and community service program.

Philadelphia, Pa – August 20, 2013 – Over 100 former high school dropouts ages 18-21 will receive their diplomas from YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School at a commencement ceremony on Friday, August 23rd at 10 a.m. Martin Luther King III will attend the ceremony and deliver the keynote address.

The commencement ceremony will celebrate students’ growth and achievements over the past year. All YouthBuild Philadelphia graduates have transformed their lives by earning a diploma as well one or more industry recognized job certifications through rigorous academics, hands-on vocational training, and community service. Most students in the Class of 2013 plan to continue their education at a college or trade school after graduating from YouthBuild Philadelphia.

Human rights advocate and community activist Martin Luther King III will deliver a speech to the graduates and their families at the ceremony. Mr. King is currently planning a march on Saturday August 24th in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and his father Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech. Mr. King will travel to Philadelphia for the day on Friday to attend the YouthBuild graduation.

“We are deeply honored that Mr. King is joining us for this joyous occasion,” said Simran Sidhu, Executive Director of YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School. “The national YouthBuild movement of young people reclaiming their education while rebuilding their communities has its roots in the twentieth century civil rights movement. As our country reflects on the past 50 years of change and progress and continues to push towards equality, committing ourselves to the education, training, and unique promise of each young person must be a priority.”

The ceremony will additionally feature remarks by selected Class of 2013 graduates and a YouthBuild Class of 2007 alumna, as well as musical performances by two students. YouthBuild Philadelphia will present its annual Legacy Award to Scott Emerick, Vice President of Education for YouthBuild USA, and the Meaningful Impact Award to Dennis McDonough of the Finishing Trades Institute.

Please note that due to very limited space, this is is an invite-only event.  Only press, invited guests of YouthBuild Philly, and ticket-holding friends and family of graduates may attend.  

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