Gabrielle Pierce (left)

Gabrielle Pierce (left)

Students inspired by We Day Vancouver

A group of nine students from Lake City Secondary Columneetza Campus were among the 20,000 youth participating in We Day Vancouver.

A group of nine students from Lake City Secondary Columneetza Campus were among the 20,000 youth, educators and guests from around B.C. participating in We Day Vancouver last week.

The day-long “massive classroom for change,” took place at Rogers Arena in Vancouver Oct. 22 featuring speeches and songs by celebrities such as actor and humanitarian Orlando Bloom, actor/singer/ UNICEF goodwill ambassador Selena Gomez, martial arts and movie icon Donnie Yen, rowing Olympian and inspirational speaker Silken Laumann, and many others. The day was capped off with a surprise performance by Jennifer Lopez.

“The place just erupted when Jennifer Lopez came out to perform a medley of her new songs,” says teacher Mike Wilson who arranged the trip and accompanied the students along with two parent chaperones.

The group travelled to Vancouver together on a school bus a day before We Day, arriving in Vancouver in time to spend a couple of hours at Science World before dinner at their nearby hotel, then touring Robson Street and getting a quick tour of the Vancouver Library before it closed.

They finished off the first evening with ice-cream hot dogs at Japadog and a swim in the hotel pool.

Despite the busy day they were up at six a.m. the next morning in order to pick the best seats available in their section at Rogers Arena for We Day. Wilson said they were fortunate to get seats in the lower bowl, 10 rows up from the boards.

Throughout the day, the audience danced and came alive to electric performances from Nick Jonas, Shawn Mendes, Marianas Trench, Neverest, Kardinal Offishall and JRDN.

Numerous speakers talked about overcoming adversity and the roles in helping to make the world a better place in which to live.

Wilson said Silken Laumann inspired the crowd with her story about having her leg shattered in a boating accident, and going on to win a bronze medal at the Olympics just two-and a half months later.

Student Taylor Brink said she was inspired by Orlando Bloom sharing the story about how he thought he was invincible as a teen until he was in an accident and broke his back. Doctors told him he would never walk again, but when he walked out of the hospital 12 days later he realized he had been taking his life for granted and decided to work to bring positive change in the world.

The speakers included brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger, co-founders of We Day and Free the Children; a girl who talked about living with HIV; two students from Kenya’s Kisaruni All Girls Secondary School who talked about how education had changed their lives; Mama Helen from Kenya who started Me to We Artisans who are paid fairly for their skills and many others.

Wilson said you can’t buy tickets to We Day, they have to be earned by making a commitment to making a difference in the world locally and globally through a year-long educational initiative called We Act.

Among their initiatives the Be the Change Club is collecting food for the local food bank and working to raise $10,000 this school year to build a school in Africa.

Wilson said he had known about We Day Vancouver for a while but only learned how to apply for the tickets in the summer. His application was late but he was fortunate to be put on a waiting list and be granted 10 tickets to the event, one for him and nine for students.

During the second week of school Wilson said he started a Be the Change Club at the school to inspire positive action among the grades 7, 8 and 9 students at the school.

The club has had about 15 members from the beginning with some students from each grade.

To select just nine of the students for We Day Vancouver he had interested students write a letter explaining why they wanted to attend and watched how interested they were in school projects.

Fortunately he said there were also tickets available at the gate for the parent chaperones.

Wilson says the We Day Vancouver event will be shown on MTV Nov. 11 at 5 p.m. and on CTV Nov. 22 starting at 4 p.m.

People who have fundraising ideas for the Be the Change Club can email Wilson at Michael.Wilson@sd27.bc.ca.

Inspired to improve the world

Lake City Secondary students in the Be the Change Club at the Columneetza campus found great inspiration at We Day Vancouver.

“We Day taught me that even though you are a kid you can make a positive change in the world by doing little things like buying a Rafiki bracelet to support mothers in Kenya, and volunteering your time to help others,” said Chloe Lutters.

Emma Pittman said: “At We Day there were so many inspiring things … we can make a difference by getting 25 toonies to buy a goat, if we fundraised we could build a school. We can make a difference.”

Gabrielle Pierce said: “I loved all the stories that were told about how one small act can lead to a world-wise cause, like Pink Shirt Day. If you ever think even for a moment, that you can’t do anything to help the world and the people around us then think again.

There are so many fundraisers and activities that you can do to make the world a better place.

“For example our school club, Be the Change is doing a food drive, a fundraiser for the African Mama’s by selling their handmade bracelets, selling candy bags for donations, raising money for goats, vowing for 24 hours of silence to support those being bullied, and so much more.”

Ali Waterhouse said: “For me, We Day was the beginning of changing Me to We. I now try to wake up every day thinking ‘what can I do today to make someone a little happier’ … We day helped me realize that one of the greatest gifts you can give is a smile.”

Taylor Brink said: ‘To me, We Day wasn’t just a trip to see famous people, it was a chance for me to open up my eyes and to start really enjoying what I am lucky to have.” She also stated her helping goals for the year.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A sign is seen this past summer outside Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Yunesit’in First Nation completes second round of vaccinations

A total of 26 people have since recovered from COVID-19 after having tested positive

A 100 Mile RCMP officer stands watch at the intersction of Highway 97 and Horse Lake Road. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Volunteers, police search Highway 97 for articles related to high-speed chase

Search will stretch from Canco Gas Station in Lac La Hache to 150 Mile House.

An aerial photograph captures snowmobile tracks in the Cameron Ridge area earlier this year, which is closed to snowmobilers. The closures are in place to protect sensitive caribou herds. (Conservation Officer Service photo)
Snowmobilers fined for operating in closed caribou habitat near Likely, B.C.

The investigation revealed they had spent several hours in the closure leaving extensive tracks

The RCMP arrest one of the suspects on Highway 97 courtesy of cell phone footage shot by a bystander. (April Thomas photo)
WATCH: Two suspects arrested after multi-jurisdictional chase

A half dozen police cars were seen heading north on Highway 97

Commercial tenants at the Williams Lake Regional Airport have been granted an additional six-month rent reprieve. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Continuing rent relief for Williams Lake Airport tenants considered

City council discussed the option during a committee of the whole meeting

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Most Read