Several hundred people gathered at Drake University Monday morning for the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day prayer breakfast. The annual event honors the life and message of the slain civil rights leader.
Nya Bottley received one of three “Make a Difference” awards. She is a junior at Valley High School in West Des Moines and says King’s words mean a lot to her.
“You have to be confident in how you walk and what you do in your life, and understand that we are placed on this earth to give back to everybody else, help those who aren’t as fortunate as each and every one of us, and we are the change and the leaders of tomorrow,” Bottley said.
Another “Make a Difference” award winner was Josh Barr, the head of the Des Moines Civil and Human Rights Commission. He pointed out that King didn’t start on the national level in his efforts to bring about change, and urged people to do what they can in their own communities.
“Now, you may not have the ability to make a difference on national law, you maybe not be able to make a difference on state law, but everybody can make a difference in local law,” Barr said.
A past president of the Des Moines branch of the NAACP, Linda Carter-Lewis, also received a “Make a Difference” award for her decades of work with the branch, and in the community.
The “Make a Difference” awards are given out each year to people or organizations that work to perpetuate King’s legacy.
The annual prayer breakfast was followed by a youth summit, aimed at helping train young people to be engaged citizens and leaders in their community.