Students honor MLK’s legacy with service

On Jan. 21, members of the UIC community honored Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy by participating in a day of service across multiple service sites around the Chicago area.

“Annually, we host a day of service, as a way of giving back,” said Spencer Long, director of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement. “We’re giving back in partnership to the community.”

More than 170 people participated in the event this year, volunteering at local organizations including Lakeview Pantry, City Year and Glenkirk. Volunteers worked at 10 service sites, donating 721 hours of service.

“The biggest comment that we get from students is how good students feel afterward, and that keeps them coming back,” said Kennedy Hayes, Student Leadership and Civic Engagement graduate assistant. “Not only are we honoring the legacy of MLK, but we are also able to build a stronger community and at UIC.”

UIC senior Whesli Kim spent his day volunteering at the Lakeview Pantry in Chicago.

“It was quite a unique experience going there,” Kim said. “It was a pretty big pantry… nothing like I was going to be expecting at all.”

Kim, as well as three other UIC students, were assigned tasks within the pantry and got right to work. Kim worked the front of the pantry, assisting customers.

“The customer interaction was very fun,” Kim said. “Each customer had their own unique personality, and it was nice getting to know the diversity of customers. It felt good satisfying their needs or wants with the food.”

“As the Chancellor says, it’s not the University of Illinois at Chicago, but the University of Illinois for Chicago,” Long said. “There are plenty of opportunities for students to get involved.”

For more information about volunteering, contact Student Leadership and Civic Engagement at or visit

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