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Inspiration from Boston's 50th Annual MLK Memorial Breakfast!

This post comes from TRA-Brockton's Starleana D'Amore, CIES Instructor/Employment Specialist...

Hello all:
On Monday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I had the pleasure to be able to attend Boston's 50th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. I try to attend every couple of years to network and see what the movers and shakers in the City of Boston are talking about and to make new acquaintances with people in my field of Public Policy, and Community and Workforce Development.

This year was quite different, as my mother, Lillie Thorpe Searcy, was awarded one of four MLK50 Anniversary Awards on a very big stage in the presence of Governor Charlie Baker, Mayor Marty Walsh of Boston, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and 1700 other leaders and participants of the greater Boston area... this was actually the first year it was completely sold out. She was awarded for transformational leadership as a result of her life long commitment to her community (Mattapan/Boston). She was also the only woman to receive the award this year! It's good for everyone to see her the way my brothers and I always do, as a visionary and a game-changer. She has been fighting for positive change (from early childhood development, summer jobs for teens to financial assistance for Boston residents) our whole lives and she is a big inspiration and sets the bar high in our family.

During the event, I networked with so many people from so many different walks of life and not only did I walk away with many stories of how they made it to become CEOs, CFOs, Chancellors of Massachusetts' colleges, founding members of organizations and other great positions of leadership and power, but I was also able to make a connection with someone who has now taken me under his wing, to guide me into my tomorrow and make me a better person and advocate not only for my community but for my students here at TRA as well.

[From Marty Walsh's address to the attendees], what caught my eye the most was when Marty said that "we need to recommit ourselves to building a more just, equal and compassionate society, especially for the most vulnerable." I believe that is what we all do every single day here at TRA and we are the people that go above and beyond the call of duty for our students and our community. My take away from this event is to create more opportunities for my (our) students, not just a job, not just a HiSET, not just English, but opportunities to network with the best of the best and making connections to people in their own communities, so that they can have mentors outside of "just us" and be our branches and serve in their own way. Life is short and we have a lot to do while we are here! CHEERS TO ALL THAT WE DO DO and WILL DO!!!!!
Truly,
Starleana D'Amore

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Thank you, Starleana, for sharing this inspirational story and that of your mother's as well! And thanks for your unbridled enthusiasm and support of TRA!

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