2015 “Remembering Martin” luncheon


Photo by Xander Riley

The 29th Annual “Remembering Martin” Luncheon was held on Monday, Jan. 19 at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Cedar Rapids.

Each middle school and high school in the Cedar Rapids area are asked to nominate one student from the school who will receive recognition during the program.

“The whole goal is to really celebrate Martin Luther King day by showcasing students in the community who embody what MLK was all about,” Kennedy counselor Rachel Collins said.

Each nominee must meet the standard criteria to be approved for this award. Every student must have a 2.5 GPA or higher, good school attendance, school involvement, community involvement, and who exemplifies Dr. King’s philosophy of acceptance.

“We like people being involved in a political sense and who is okay with being in the spotlight. Someone who understands that this whole thing about civil rights is not over,” Collins said. “It still exists and I think it’s in a way that people don’t even think it exists. We want a student who realizes this and is willing to fight that fight for justice.”

The 2015 Kennedy representative is Terrence Hall, sr.

“This nomination means that I’m a step closer to the bigger goal which is not only completing my dream but also making a difference on a bigger scale that’s not only beneficial to myself but to my community,” Hall said.

At Kennedy, an email is sent out to the entire faculty that lists the criteria and asks for suggestions of nominees. Sometimes, the staff goes with the student with the most votes, other times they choose the top three and bring it to a committee of the administrators and counselors to narrow it down to one student.

“Terrence is a really special person,” Collins Said. “He is well known and well respected and the thing about Terrence is that he wants to be somebody. Terrence has come from some hardship in his life and he has seen a lot of things that lot of people of privilege in this school hasn’t had to deal with. He’s seen and experienced things but he still wants to do something with his life. He not only wants to be able to support a family in the future but he wants to give back to his community and that’s a big thing.”

The Luncheon’s program consisted of all nominees sharing an inspirational quote and a keynote speaker who will talk about MLK’s legacy.

“It was a great experience, not everybody gets to have an opportunity to get an award like that and I felt very honored and it was awesome to be there with kids from all different backgrounds. We’re all representing the same type of dream and characteristics which were shown by Martin himself,” Hall said.