Frequently Asked Questions
What is project 351?
We believe that eighth graders are a remarkable force for good in their community and our world. And, we take greatest joy and pride in the privileged opportunity to celebrate and support these inspiring young leaders in their efforts to lead positive change. Project 351 is a youth service nonprofit organization that develops a rising generation of “community-first” leaders. We wish to create extraordinary change by entrusting the hearts, hands, and minds of unsung heroes and quiet leaders.
Founded by Governor Deval Patrick in 2011 and now convened by Governor Charlie Baker, Project 351 fosters unity and strengthens the ethic of service through the engagement and enrichment of an 8th grade Ambassador from each of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts.
For a year’s term, Project 351 invests in the Ambassadors’ capabilities and inspires their sense of possibility through customized service experiences, results-driven leadership training, and exposure to issues, role models, and opportunities that challenge and enrich. United, Ambassadors progress the values of social justice, drive transformative impact for a portfolio of nonprofit organizations, and commit to a lifetime of civic responsibility and service.
Ambassadors are then given the opportunity to continue to serve and grow with Project 351 as alumni, leading service projects, mentoring teams of eighth grade Ambassadors, and guiding Ambassadors regionally. We are incredibly grateful for and humbled by our alumni, who bring their skills and strengths back to both our beloved community and communities of their own.
what is an ambassador?
An Ambassador is an 8th grade student selected by educators in their 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.
There is no application process. Rather, educators nominate and select their community’s Ambassador based on criteria and a process provided by Project 351. Ambassadors share a common passion for making a positive difference in their community and our world. Upon selection, they are invited to participate in 12 months of unique service and leadership development opportunities. The Ambassador's term spans from January of their 8th grade year through December of their 9th grade year.
WHAT ARE THE EXPECTATIONS OF AN AMBASSADOR?
As a member of Project 351, Ambassadors represent their family, school, and community with honor, humility, and pride. Over a year's term, they engage with a community of peers in team-based service projects and leadership development opportunities. Respect, a cooperative spirit, and fun are hallmarks of successful Ambassador teams.
Ambassadors are expected to be their best self as a member of Project 351. They are encouraged to use the service and leadership skills they develop to address important issues facing their local communities.
Participation in January’s Launch & Service Day is required for the Ambassador. We invite, but do not mandate, participation in four additional cornerstone initiatives: Leadership Reunion at Gillette Stadium in May, and Spring, 9.11 Tribute, and Fall statewide service. These three service campaigns unite the Class with a common mission and provide scale for our nonprofit partners. Ambassadors are invited to lead projects in their hometowns and are provided with comprehensive training, mentoring, and support from Project 351. Together, Ambassadors demonstrate the extraordinary change made possible when young people unite in service.
Is there a cost to participate?
There are no costs associated with Project 351. Transportation is provided to/from Boston for Launch Day in January and to/from Gillette Stadium for Leadership Reunion in May. Ambassadors are provided with their official Ambassador t-shirt in January, and receive a short sleeve version at Reunion. All training materials for Launch, Reunion, and three statewide service days are provided for the Ambassadors.
IS PROJECT 351 A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION?
Yes, Project 351 is a registered 501c3 nonprofit organization. We partner with an extraordinary community of educators, service and nonprofit organizations, and volunteers to achieve our mission.
Essential support and strategic guidance is generously provided by our community of investors, including the Carob Tree Fund, John Hancock, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, HYM Investment Group LLC, Martin Richard Foundation, The Foundation To Be Named Later, Governor and Mrs. Deval Patrick, and Michael T. Carmen & Pamela Lederer.
We are deeply grateful for the generosity of these inspiring private sector partners and for the kind individuals who invest in our young leaders and those they are privileged to serve.
We greatly value the support and inspiration of leaders like Governor Charlie Baker and friends in the state legislature. However, we do not seek nor receive state or federal funding.
Can I donate to Project 351?
Thank you! We greatly value and appreciate investment from individuals, corporations, and foundations who share our belief in the power and potential of young people. You can donate here.