The national holiday marking the birth date of Martin Luther King JR. recognizes the exceptional life King led and the progress he created during the Civil Rights Movement. For the past 19 years, the MLK Scholarship Fund has respected the day by hosting a breakfast to award a group of local students with scholarship money for college.
MLK Scholarship Fund Chair, Kathy Brantley explained, "the students are chosen based on 5 curriculum criteria, their grade point average, what they have contributed to the community as well as they already had to have applied or been accepted to a college and the students are in good standards at their schools. "
This year there are 32 students being recognized but there are also five gentlemen who will be honorary guests at the breakfast who have contributed to the community. The first man is Mark Haven, the orchestra director of the Zanesville School System.
"Mark has arranged trips to Chicago for his students, he has taught and touched the hearts of so many and pulled them up to love and appreciate music, " said Brantley.
Two other men being honored at the breakfast, NBA star Kevin Martin and Project Runway contestant Nathan McDonald, were recipients of the scholarship when they were seniors in high school, proving to Brantley, the scholarship fund is in fact benefiting the students.
"Yes and giving back to the community on a regular basis. Kevin Martin gives two scholarships and has been doing it for years and is just so wonderful what he has done for our community," said Brantley.
The final men are James McLaughlin and Eric Peterson. McLaughlin works with area orchestra’s in the concert society and has pushed for musical education in the school system. Eric Peterson, is the Vice President of Diversity for General Motors and will be introducing a scholarship he has established through GM on Sunday at the singsperation at the library.
WHIZ’s sunrise anchor, Jennifer Bullock, another recipient of the scholarship will be hosting the breakfast. "And actually to be the person talking to these other high school seniors and telling them that they can do these things, you know having lived it myself, is really an honor, a special feeling to be that person to say "you can do it, because i did it and I’m living proof of it, " Bullock said.
40 years after King exclaimed he had a dream, students continue to realize and reach their own. Tickets for the breakfast can be bought for ten dollars at the Zanesville Welcome Center.