About 50 UCLA students, staff and alumni spent their Martin Luther King Jr. holiday honoring the legacy of the civil rights leader by volunteering at a youth and community center in South Los Angeles.

As part of the UCLA Volunteer Center’s One Bus, One Cause program, the volunteers built several planter boxes, planted fruits and vegetables, and painted benches in the outdoor playground area of the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center. The planters will allow the Wooten Center to provide healthy snacks for youth while also serving as tools to educate the youth about nutrition and growing their own food. In addition, several current undergraduate student volunteers met with a room full of youth from the Wooten Center to answer questions about attending college, life in the residence halls and academics. 

Every year, millions of people across the country honor King’s legacy by participating in a nation-wide day of service.

The visit marked the Volunteer Center’s second trip to the Wooten Center this academic year. The first was on UCLA Volunteer Day when first-year students and project leaders from the Herb Alpert School of Music painted murals and engaged youth in creative and college prep activities.

Serving boys and girls ages 8 to 18, the Wooten Center seeks to provide a safe and nurturing environment committed to good citizenship and academic excellence by offering academic enrichment programs, tutoring and recreational activities. The youth center and after school program was named after the founder’s son, who was killed in 1989 in a drive-by shooting.