“If no one has told you they love you today, I love you!”

On Friday, August 25, Martin Luther King High School Principal Keisha Wilkins could be heard yelling out “I love you!” again and again as she moved around the Germantown campus. But it wasn’t to her students or staff, as class was not yet back in session. Instead, it was directed toward the four local Publicis Health agencies there to partner with MLK High School for an incredible day of service.

Martin Luther King High School is a public high school serving the Germantown and West Oak Lane sections of Philadelphia. The school’s mission is to provide all students with the academic, technological, and social skills needed to be productive and contributing citizens in our society. We wanted to play a small role in helping the school and students fulfill that dream, especially in preparation of the 2017–2018 school year with more than 700 students expected due to an overflow from another area school.

Over 400 Philadelphia-based employees from Digitas Health, Discovery USA, Publicis Health Media, and Razorfish Health participated in our annual Summer Community Service Day.

Upon arriving at the high school bright and early, the Publicis Health team was ready to get down to business. We got right to work freshening up the walls and sprucing up the gardens. Prior to the day on-site, the agencies hosted a book drive collecting more than 400 books to donate to the school library. Onsite, we had an amazing effort to organize the library learning space and truly enhance its function.

Our team exceeded our past track record of painting murals at schools, by painting eight murals throughout the building and grounds, each designed to support the students during the school day. Whether a student needs a health and wellness reminder, encouragement out on the sports fields, a message of acceptance no matter what their race or sexuality, or a dream of what the future could hold after graduation, murals expressing these ideas and values are now there to motivate and inspire them.

As the event came to a close, the high school had been physically transformed. But, as always with our Community Service Day, the impact was much deeper.

“As an MLK alum, it brings me such joy to have our agency network join together to give these students a place fit for the kings and queens that they are. I hope everyone starts the school year as inspired as I am right now,” said Steve Williams, Director of Facilities at Digitas Health.

This year’s Community Service Day was not only a chance to lend a hand to our community. It was an opportunity to show the students and staff of MLK High School that public education is worth our investment. We also showed that when we set out to achieve a dream together — a dream to make a difference each year in our community — it definitely can come true.

Location: Martin Luther King High School | 6100 Stenton Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19138

Date & Time: Friday, August 25, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm