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mlk award winners

Winners of YNHH’s Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Awards include (l-r): Keyron Haynes, Secora Chambers and Cathalene Tobias. Missing from photo: India Kellman. 

YNHH presents Martin Luther King Jr. awards

Each year, Yale New Haven Hospital presents its Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Awards to New Haven high school students who exemplify the civil rights icon’s ideals. Traditionally held in January, around Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, the awards presentation was delayed due to COVID-19. On June 17 this year, Yale New Haven Health’s Institute for Excellence and Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion presented the awards to four students, who researched and wrote about Martin Luther King Jr.’s contributions. The awardees and excerpts from their essays are:

  • Secora Chambers, Highville Change Academy: Dr. King’s “courage and resilience are admirable and inspire me to continue staying strong throughout challenges.”
  • Keyron Haynes, Hill Regional Career High School: Dr. King demonstrated that “having the inability to lose aspiration assists you in many ways and gets you far. Because of that … it made me more driven and motivated to provide help to those in need.”
  • India Kellman, James Hillhouse High School: “Dr. King’s efforts are what allow me to do what I’m able to do today and I refuse to take that for granted. I intend to take what he did to greater heights.”
  • Cathalene Tobias, Highville Change Academy: “It may seem impossible to make a change, but (Dr. King’s) efforts showed me that if I am dedicated and work hard enough, I can achieve anything I put my mind to.”