The 10th annual WE Day was held at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on October 19, 2016. Students from 30 TLDSB schools attended, adding to a total of approximately 20,000 students – all with one thing in common – a passion for changing the world.
WE Day is an event where youth can get together and feel empowered by motivational speakers to do good in the world. This year’s theme was “I am WE”, encouraging young people to work together to achieve positive change.
“We participate in WE Day because we want to celebrate everybody’s effort in changing the world,” said Tanya Drury, LCVI student. “It gets you pumped up and it shows you all the different things that people our age – and even younger – have done, and it proves that normal people like us can change the world.”
The day began at 9:00 a.m. and kicked off with X-Factor winner, Jordan Smith, singing OneRepubic’s song “I Lived”. Zendaya Coleman hosted the event along with Liz Trinnear and Tyrone Edwards, both hosts from MTV. Stars such as Macklemore, Hedley, Jason Derulo, Paula Abdul, and Gord Downie performed at WE Day along with inspirational talks from Lilly Singh, Winnie Harlow, Penny Oleksiak, Bailee Madison, and Margaret Trudeau. The day ended at 3:00p.m. with a performance from Jason Derulo and a thank you from the Keilburgers.
“It’s great to see so many people you think of as famous giving inspirational talks and seeing how they started off small, but we could become like them,” commented Nicole Corley, LCVI student. “You’re in a space full of 20,000 kids who are all like-minded and who want to change the world.”
A Scott Young PS student was recognized and given $150 for RBC’s “Make 150 Count” campaign. In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, RBC is investing in today’s youth by giving $150 to thousands of young Canadians with no strings attached other than to do something good with it.
The ME to WE foundation began when Craig Kielburger, at the age of 12, who had heard about a child slave in Pakistan that was shot for speaking out about human rights. This left Craig determined to inspire change in the world. Brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger set out to create Free the Children, an organization with the goal of freeing all children from child slavery. Their mission grew to what is now known as the WE Movement, including ME to WE and WE Charity, creating positive social change specifically directed to today’s youth.
To find out more about the WE Movement, ME to WE or We Charity, or to donate, visit www.we.org. To see pictures from the day, follow TLDSB on Twitter @TLDSB or check out the Storify below.