Sunday April 19th, Cape Cod middle school students gathered at the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum on the weekend of the 119th Boston Marathon to honor Martin Richard, the eight-year-old 2013 Boston Marathon bombing victim.

Project Next Generation, a civics and leadership educational organization, was founded by seventeen-year-old Katie Curran. Katie Curran, a Cape Cod native, wanted to provide the rising generation of student leaders with the tools to be a voice of change. The mission of Project Next Generation is to foster personal growth and success in our rising generation through developing open-minded, caring and confident leaders. Now in its second year, Project Next Generation is making a difference locally and globally, championing for peace in communities across the country.

Katie Curran, President and Founder of Project Next Generation, coordinated the event. She is currently a junior at Sturgis Charter Public School in Hyannis, Massachusetts. Katie told students, “Today we will hit the ground running, tie our laces of leadership and run projects of kindness for Martin Richard. As fellow Massachusetts peacemakers, we support Boston, we are Boston”. The event was hosted by the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum.

Students learned about peacemaking and celebrated the rich history of their community. Hyannisport served as the summer White House for President John F. Kennedy. Students toured the JFK Hyannis Museum, gave speeches about peacemaking and reflected on kindness on the second anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. Katie invited John Dickson, the recipient of the 2014 American Civic Education Teacher Award, to speak on the topic of civics, peace and kindness.

The program was funded by the Martin Richard Bridge Builder grant from Hasbro Inc., GenerationOn and the Martin Richard Foundation. Students said, “Martin Richard is such an inspiration for peace” and “we will spread his word and everything he stood for”. In a world that appears to be stricken by perpetual conflict at first glance, there exists peace and progress. These students are the next generation of leaders that are making a difference today.

To learn more about Project Next Generation and its work, visit: www.ProjectNextGeneration.org