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Norton Student to Take Part in Project 351

A Norton student will participate in a community service initiative organized by Governor Deval Patrick.

A Norton Middle School student will be joining Governor Deval Patrick this Saturday as part of the governor's Project 351 initiative.

Hannah John, an eighth grader, will join other students from across the Commonwealth Saturday, Jan. 26 for the day of service. If weather doesn't cooperate, however, the event could be postponed for the following weekend.

Hannah was selected for Project 351 by principal Michael O'Rourke and vice principal Ronnie Goldstein because of her academic and leadership qualities. 

"We thought that Hannah would be a good choice to sort of follow in the mold of the student we had last year," Goldstein said. The student chosen last year was Ryan DiGregorio.

Chaired by Governor Deval Patrick, the non-profit organization enlists eighth grade ambassadors from cities and towns across the Commonwealth and together they celebrate the power of young people as a force for positive change in their communities. 

"I think it's a great idea," Goldstein said. "The Governor started this a few years ago and there's a lot that could be harnessed from our best and our brightest."

The keynote speaker this year will be founding board member of City Year Charlie Rose. The goal of City Year, located in Boston, is to ensure that 80 percent of the students in the schools City Year serves reach 10th grade on track and on time, and to serve the majority of at-risk students in the locations where City Year serves. 

"I welcome Project 351 Ambassadors from across the Commonwealth to the State House as we unite in the spirit of service," Patrick said. "Project 351 is designed to inspire, challenge and motivate our next generation of leaders to give back and make a significant impact in our community.”

An engaged community of partners from the private and non-profit sector enable the mission of Project 351 and includes:  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, John Hancock Financial Services, 451 Marketing, Nordblom Properties, Pfizer and Bank of America

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