STATE REPRESENTATIVE NATALIE HIGGINS RECOGNIZES LOCAL YOUNG LEADER FOR SERVICE
Leominster Project 351 Ambassador Kicks off Transformative Year of Service
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Leominster, April 6, 2017 – State Representative Natalie Higgins today recognized Leila Cucciara, an eighth grader from Leominster, for her year of service as a Project 351 Ambassador. Leila joins more than 360 other young leaders across the Commonwealth as a participant in this statewide youth-led service initiative.
Project 351 is a nonprofit youth service organization that convenes an eighth-grade Ambassador from every city and town in Massachusetts for a transformative year of leadership development, values-based enrichment, and transformative impact through unique service and training opportunities. Project 351’s Class of 2017 includes more than 360 inspiring eighth graders like Ms. Cucciara, who are selected by hometown educators for an exemplary ethic of service and the values of kindness, compassion, humility, and gratitude.
“I am so proud of the work Leila is doing in our community,” said Higgins. “Project 351 could not have a better Ambassador from the city of Leominster. From her work with Cradles to Crayons to her own project ‘Fancy for Free,’ Leila is making a huge impact in so many people’s lives. It is so important for our students to feel supported by the adults in their lives, when they take on the hard work to solve problems in our community. ” Fancy for Free is a United Way Youth Venture program co-lead by Ms. Cucciara. The group takes donation of gently used clothing and then maintains a ‘clothes closet’ at school from which students in need can discretely get free clothing.
“Our Ambassadors unite from every corner of the Commonwealth to engage hundreds of communities in service and encourage kindness and generosity in their hometowns,” said Carolyn Casey, Executive Director and Founder of Project 351. “Over a year’s term, they demonstrate the unlimited potential of young people in service to a cause greater than self.”
Project 351 Ambassadors engage in three statewide service campaigns throughout the year, including this Spring Service in support of Cradles and Crayons, September 11 Tribute Service in support of the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund, and Fall Service, which aims to end hunger through the support of hundreds if hometown food pantries. Since its start in 2011, Project 351 has empowered more than 2,600 8th grade Ambassadors, impacted over 340,000 people, and fostered a culture of kindness, compassion, and gratitude in hundreds of schools and communities across the Commonwealth.
ABOUT PROJECT 351:
Project 351 is a youth service non-profit organization that develops a rising generation of “community-first” citizen leaders. Launched by Governor Deval Patrick in 2011 and now convened by Governor Charlie Baker, Project 351 fosters unity and strengthens the ethic of service through the engagement and enrichment of an eighth grade Ambassador from every city and town in Massachusetts. Annually, Ambassadors are selected by hometown educators for an exemplary ethic of service and the values of kindness, compassion, humility, and gratitude, and engage in a transformative year of youth-led service projects. Since its founding in 2011, Project 351 has engaged more than 2,200 eighth-graders as Ambassadors, who have united to impact more than 250,000 lives through youth-led service. Project 351 is supported by the generosity and civic engagement of private sector and civic leaders including Carob Tree Foundation, John Hancock, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Martin Richard Foundation, Converse, HYM Investment Group, the Carmen Family, and the O’Brien Family.