MLK Dream Weekend



MLK Dream Weekend provides an avenue for Greenville County residents to reflect and remember Dr. Kings Dream. It also allows all of us to reevaluate our own dreams for ourselves and our community. The dream didn’t die with Dr. King and through the events of MLK Dream Weekend it continues to grow and flourish. Jil… Read More


Jil Littlejohn

October 22nd, 2009

A Dreamer’s Success

There are several reasons why I believe that the Martin Luther King (MLK) Dream Weekend celebration is one of the most significant events in the upstate. First, the celebration of Dr. King’s birthday brings hundreds of people, from different backgrounds, together to recognize both diversity and unity. Those philosophies are what Dr. King believed were vital in helping our country reach her full potential of greatness. Second, the executive staff at MLK Dream Weekend uses every available resource to engage the community and recognize individuals who exemplify the dream that Dr. King envisioned more than 40 years ago. I applaud the MLK Dream Weekend staff for keeping “the dream” alive in Greenville, South Carolina. Against insurmountable odds, Dr. King had a vision that the Jim Crow South would end segregation and provide equality in education to all children. There were many who doubted him; yet, he pressed forward. His courage, tenacity, and unwavering faith in God enabled him to witness the impossible become reality. Segregation began to come to an end and the United States embarked on a new course. Dr. King’s testimony means everything to me as I have learned from his example. He has empowered me to address an epidemic, childhood obesity, which threatens to ruin the quality of life for a growing number of Americans.

As a recent “Win-a-Dream” recipient, I am thankful for being rewarded for dreaming big as Dr. King did. While researching ways to pursue my vision, I learned that MLK Dream Weekend and the Greenville Hospital System (GHS) together launched a community-based contest to support a health related dream in the upstate. Promptly, I submitted an online essay which discussed my dream and eagerly awaited a response. As I read some of the entries on the MLK Dream Weekend website, I realized that the contest was extremely competitive. Thankfully, I was considered as a finalist and earned the opportunity to meet the judges to further discuss the details of my dream. After winning the $1500 grand prize, things have not been the same. My organization, Young Marathon Runner’s of America (YMRA), has gained notoriety, momentum, and support from individuals I could never have anticipated prior to being selected the winner. Now, YMRA is nearing its final phase before being launched to the community. We have partnered with many organizations here in the upstate. I’m amazed at what has ignited from my passion to see healthy kids and an essay that I had the courage to write in October 2008. Be on the lookout for our press release at year end. YMRA’s mission is, “to inspire the youth to live a healthier lifestyle by becoming physically active and nutritionally savvy.” We will raise the community’s level of awareness on childhood obesity and methods of prevention. In the end, we aim to see a culture shift to a more disciplined lifestyle towards better health and wellness.

God Bless,
Nicholas Wideman

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