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Southbridge Student Joins Prestigious Leadership Program

Jomar Cintron-Perez, a student at Southbridge Middle School, has been selected for the honor of being the Southbridge-based Ambassador to the state-wide Project 351 initiative. The group engages eight grade students in Massachusetts to develop leadership skills and to participate in service projects.

Project 351 consists of a student Ambassador from each town. The group describes an Ambassador as “An eight-grade student selected by educators in the community based on an exemplary ethic of service and the values of kindness, compassion, humility, and gratitude. A special premium is placed on the recognition of unsung heroes and quiet leaders, and the rich diversity of our Commonwealth.”

Students cannot apply to the program; a teacher or staff member must nominate them for service. In Jomar’s case, teacher Samuel Yoder decided to submit Jomar’s name as a candidate for the project.

“If service and leadership is what they are looking for, they have it in Jomar. In and out of the classroom, he is consistently looking to help others and set the right example for other students,” Yoder remarks.

This is the first time in several years that Southbridge Public Schools has sent a student Ambassador to participate in Project 351. The opportunity represents a chance to develop a local youth leader and to share the benefit with the overall community.

Project 351 Ambassadors like Jomar attend an inaugural meeting in Boston and collaborate with other peer Ambassadors. The group engages in service projects together and each Ambassador is expected to run at least one service project in their home community. Local impact projects are supported by training and mentorship from Project 541. This spring, Jomar will be launching a clothing drive as one of his local contributions.

The group recently held an inaugural event in Boston where all 351 students met to launch the current project year. At this inaugural meeting, Jomar had the opportunity to meet his peers and to begin collaborative service projects with them. Governor Charlie Baker paid a visit to the inaugural meeting of the youth Ambassadors. Transportation for this meeting and other activities of Project 351 is provided free of charge to the student.

Project 351 mentioned Jomar in a recent social media comment, stating, “We are ecstatic to welcome Jomar into our community as an Ambassador joining our 10th anniversary class of 8th graders from across Massachusetts! We can’t wait to continue to lead and learn with him this year.”

Yoder, the nominating teacher, has full confidence in Jomar and looks forward to seeing his leadership skills emerge in the program.

“I am excited for Jomar to take on these service projects with students from around the state so he can harness his leadership skills. When I spoke with Jomar about this opportunity he did not flinch and is now taking it on with a head of steam. We know he will do great things.”

Jomar’s community at Southbridge Middle High School also looks forward to seeing how his leadership skills develop. Congratulations, Jomar!

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