Peabody Public Schools Students William Dresser and Victoria Vaz Selected as Project 351 Ambassadors

January 27, 2023

Superintendent Josh Vadala and Higgins Middle School Principal Todd Bucey are pleased to share that eighth-grade students William Dresser and Victoria Vaz were recently selected as Peabody’s 2023 Project 351 Ambassadors.

Project 351 is a non-profit organization that empowers a youth-led movement for change powered by an eighth grade student representing every city and town in Massachusetts.

“Both Will and Victoria have been leading positive change throughout their time at Higgins,” Principal Bucey said. “Whether as leaders at summer orientation sessions or ambassadors at parent events, they are the epitome of role models. We are very proud of their accomplishments and look forward to seeing what they do in their new roles.””

Vaz and Dresser recently completed a food drive for Haven From Hunger that resulted in a donation of over 4,000 items and $800.

“I’m looking forward to influencing others in a positive way through service,” Vaz said.

Dresser and Vaz were selected as Peabody’s ambassadors for their inspiring ethic of service and values of kindness, compassion, humility and gratitude.

On Saturday, Jan. 14, Vaz and Dresser gathered with more than 425 fellow ambassadors and alumni mentors for Project 351’s 13th annual Launch and Service Day in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & Coretta Scott King. Launch Day kicks off 12 months of leadership development through unifying service, alumni mentorship and enrichment through Project 351’s Service Leadership Academy.

“I’m honored to continue the tradition of the ambassadors that came before me,” Dresser said.

The class of 2023 celebrated Launch Day by visiting a new sculpture in the Boston Common, “The Embrace.” The sculpture is the Commonwealth’s first memorial to Dr. and Mrs. King, in an attempt to honor their legacy. Highlights included a kick-off program at Faneuil Hall and an end-of-day celebration.

Ambassadors dedicated the afternoon to high-impact service with 10 nonprofit organizations including La Colaborativa, Cradles to Crayons, Hope & Comfort and the Wonderfund. United across 351 cities and towns, ambassadors will address critical issues including hunger, educational opportunity, childhood poverty, mental health and wellness, and care for military and veterans – impacting thousands of neighbors across Boston and the Commonwealth.

Over their year’s term, ambassadors develop the skills and confidence to mobilize schools and communities in four statewide service campaigns. Ambassadors take part in Spring Service, benefitting Cradles to Crayons a non-profit organization that provides resources such as school supplies and clothing to homeless and low-income children. They also take part in the Hope & Gratitude Walk benefiting nonprofits selected by ambassadors, the 9/11 Tribute Service with the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund, and Fall Service, which seeks to eradicate hunger through the support of hundreds of hometown food pantries.

At the close of their service year, ambassadors are invited to continue to hone skills and lead communities as a member of the Alumni Organization.

“The 35ONE generation is compassion-in-action. We’re honored to welcome our 13th Class of leaders, dreamers, and doers,” said Carolyn Casey, Project 351’s Founder and Executive Director. “We are proud of their commitment to unite as the Class of 2023 to build the knowledge, skills, and confidence to lead the change they wish to see in the world.”

Since 2011, 4,492 Ambassadors have positively impacted more than 1.2 million neighbors through unifying statewide service.

Peabody’s 2023 Project 351 Ambassadors William Dresser and Victoria Vaz (photo courtesy of Principal Todd Bucey)

About Project 351
Founded in 2011, Project 351 is a youth-led movement for change powered by an eighth grade unsung hero selected to represent every city and town in Massachusetts. Ambassadors are selected for an exemplary ethic of service and the values of kindness, compassion, humility, and gratitude.

Project 351 is a nonprofit organization powered by Ambassador leadership and the investment of civic-minded corporations, foundations, individuals, and Project 351 Alumni. We are honored by the faith of our partners including the Martin Richard Foundation, Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation, Crimson Lion Foundation, John Hancock, Michael Carmen and Pamela Lederer, Foundation to be Named Later, HYM Investment, Mabel Louise Riley Foundation, Governor Deval and Diane Patrick, two generous funders who chose anonymity, and our media partner WBZ-TV.

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