NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — On Monday, residents in the Tri-State Area found their own ways to remember and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

55 years after Dr. King marched on Washington, eighth graders from Manhattan Country School continued their decades-long tradition of marching on MLK Day, honoring the message and legacy of the civil rights leader.

READ MORE: Rangers Stay Red Hot, Get 4 Points From Panarin In Rout Of Blackhawks

The commemorative march Monday is about young minds making a difference and student doing their part to bring about social change.

“It’s very exciting for them to have this moment where they feel like they have a sense of agency in the world in terms of things that matter to them,” organizer Tom Grattan told CBS2’s Marc Liverman.

And issues not so different than the time Martin Luther King Jr. lead his own march decades ago.

“Sexual violence and assault, homelessness, mental health, immigration,” said Angela Meadows, communications director for Manhattan Country School.

The students started the march in front of the Eleanor Roosevelt monument on 72ns Street before marching their way towards Central Park.

There were about 22 eighth graders taking part in the march, a tradition that has been going on for close to 30 years within the school.

“We want everybody to be equal. Everyone’s talking about something different — rape culture, Islamophobia, discrimination — everything,” said student Asae Syee. “MLK fought for what he believed in and it was nothing different. That’s what we want to do. No matter what people tell us, we’re going to push forward.”

READ MORE: NYC Hospitality Alliance: Mayor De Blasio 'Grinch' For Vaccine Mandate That May Keep Tourists With Young Children Away

A day not only about speaking out against injustice, but also about helping others. Folks at the Central Queens Y honored the leader in their own way, painting murals and serving meals.

“Hopefully Martin Luther King is somewhere knowing that we’re all doing good, being inspired by him,” volunteer Joli Golden said.

Tamara Steiner’s husband died about a year and a half ago, and she credits the Y for saving her life.

“It means everything to me because it fills my life,” she said. “Otherwise I would be sitting home and feeling lonely.”

Nearly 100 volunteers also put together food packages to help those in need at the community kitchen and food pantry of West Harlem.

On Long Island, hundreds of children gathered at the Mid-Island Y/JCC in Plainview to assemble care packages for needy families. It was an exercise in kindness.

“We just really want to teach them to think about other people before they think about themselves,” parent Elyse Klein said.

The packages, filled with school and household supplies, were what most of us take for granted. Long Island Cares, the regional food bank, estimates that 300,000 Long Islanders are food insecure and are forced to make tough choices.

“It’s a hidden need, and people think because you’re living in a house you have what you need, but every so often people are living below the poverty line and paycheck to paycheck,” Director of Volunteer Services Gail Warrack told CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff.

MORE NEWS: Hate Crimes Spike Citywide, New NYPD Data Reveals

MLK’s legacy, living on through the love and compassion of people working to create a better future.