Memorial Middle School teachers and administrators recently selected eighth-grader Connor Hipp to serve as Hull’s 2020 Project 351 ambassador to participate in a year of service. He was among the students chosen for this honor from each of the state’s 351 cities and towns.
Project 351 was founded in 2011 by then-Gov. Deval Patrick. “The goal is to inspire lifelong service leaders,” Connor told the School Committee this week.
His year of service started Jan. 18 on Launch Day, when the ambassadors learned what the project is all about. The day, which began at 7 a.m., included a trip to Faneuil Hall, where Connor met the other members of his service team, comprised of young ambassadors from across the state, heard speeches by: Gov. Charlie Baker and First Lady Lauren Baker, Devin McCourty of Patriots fame, photographer Bill Brett, and newscaster Lisa Hughes. The ambassadors went on to perform community service at the Pine Street Inn, a homeless shelter in Boston’s South End.
“When we got there we had a tour, made cards to put on chocolate bars to hand out to shelter residents, and then split up into smaller groups where some of us made scarves for those living there and others prepared the dinnertime meal, making enchiladas and wrapping silverware,” Connor said.
His service group was able to meet or exceed their team goals, despite the fact that some of the members were not able to make it due to a storm in western Massachusetts.
Connor and his new friends then went to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Dorchester for a celebration featuring music and “awesome” food. “It was a long but rewarding and fun day,” he said.
Connor and other Project 351 ambassadors are leading a Cradles to Crayons children’s clothing and shoe drive, “which secures everyday essentials for children facing unfair challenges such as poverty and homelessness,” Connor explained. “We are partnering [with this organization] to distribute these donations and hope to help tens of thousands of children across Massachusetts and beyond with donations from all 351 communities.”