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WE Day!

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WE Day!

20,000 youth who see a better future AND are planning to make it happen filled the Calgary Saddledome earlier this month for WE Day - a motivational day that calls for local and global action for change. Northern Gateway students from Mayerthorpe High, Onoway High, Hillside High and Harry Gray Elementary were in attendance!

WE Day was born from the initiative of two brothers from Ontario, Craig and Marc Kielburger. Together, they formed the Free the Children organization and by 2007 held their first WE Day hosting 5,000 youth in Toronto. Now, WE Day tours each Fall in Canadian, American, and United Kingdom cities inspiring youth on a global scale.

Mayerthorpe Jr/Sr High

Adult supervisor and teacher, Beth Ranslam “could not help but feel shivers of excitement” as she watched Mayerthorpe High students participate in this powerful national and international movement.

Motivational speakers and performers shared stories of their causes and the adventures leading them to local or global actions for change.

Tom Jackson spoke how our potential, as a society, is asleep and it needs to be awakened and the gift of giving is one way to achieve this.

As our technology develops, Spencer West challenged students to use their ‘phones’ for good advising “change is in your hands.”

Dr. Dave Williams discussed how curiosity, passion, and persistence can change the world evidenced by his story of a Saskatchewan farm boy becoming an astronaut.

Olympic athlete, Silken Laumann, discussed how adults lose the ability to dream over time, but youth still have the gift to make dreams happen.

Closing remarks from Craig and Marc encouraged youth to find their gifts, put them to a cause they are passionate about and make change happen. Even the adults learned that day!!

Hillside Jr/Sr High and Harry Gray Elementary

Twelve students from Hillside High and 7 students from Harry Gray Elementary in Valleyview also attended WE Day.  

Hillside teacher Craig Lawson commented: “WE Day represents the possibilities that students have to take control of their futures, to make a difference, and to change the way our society tends to underestimate the impact kids can have. Kids are powerful and WE Day helps kids realize it by seeing first hand through the stories the speakers share about their experiences and accomplishments. I enjoyed watching the students realize their potential and seeing their faces change when they became aware of their own power to do good and to change the world."

Onoway Jr/Sr High 

16 leadership students and 4 staff members had the opportunity to attend We Day in Calgary. The students were excited to go and enjoyed the energy of the approximately 20,000 other youth under one roof,the music and hearing about the different campaigns that Free the Children supports. Students are excited to be adopting a village this year at Onoway High and hopefully building a school in a village in Kenya in celebration of their new high school that will be built in the Spring of 2015.

The Student Voice

Breanne Roszko, a founding memeber of Mayerthorpe High’s W.A.M. club shared:

“Mayerthorpe W.A.M or We Are the Movement is a group that I am very proud to be a part of. In W.A.M we do various activities that I enjoy because as a whole we believe in the reasons behind our actions. By fundraising for causes that we as a group believe in or by volunteering in projects that are beneficial to many I have learned several valuable lessons. Learning to be a critical thinker, finding the solutions to problems, being independent while understanding the importance of cooperation, having passion for causes and coming to the realization that through hard work and faith nearly anything is possible, are only a few of the values that I have gained since joining W.A.M.  While W.A.M has taught me ethical values I also enjoy being a part of the group because it is enjoyable. Being at the various events are fun, although I truly enjoy the knowledge that my actions are contributing to beliefs that not only I but many others hold, and in that understanding I find empowerment, entertainment and self-satisfaction.”

The MHS club was started last year by interested students and staff wanting to make a positive change in the world locally and globally. Going to WE Day 2013 solidified the club’s three year plan for global change by committing to build a school for a community in an underdeveloped country, such as Africa. The building of a small school costs a total of $10,000.00 and W.A.M. raised approximately $1,500.00 in the first year with plans of raising the $8,500.00 in the next two years. The club is also dedicated to local action of food drives for the food bank. This was the second year that members went out on Halloween for the Scare Hunger campaign requesting food donations. As Christmas approaches, they will organize another food drive and in February there are plans for the second Red Eye Tournament to raise money for the building of the school.  W.A.M. is motivated to make change happen.

Grasmere Mural WE REMEMBER