Ami Baillie

Director, Special Projects, WE Day, WE

I studied International Development in university, and anyone who pursues this field knows that you spend a lot of your undergrad learning about economic, social and cultural disparities in developing countries. You learn about failed development models, flawed NGOs and political agendas that keep the people living below the poverty level exactly where they are. So, when I graduated, I made a list of non-profits I wanted to work for. WE was at the top of that list because I believed so passionately in its sustainable development model, WE Villages. I started working at WE seven years ago and my role allowed me to work with teachers and students across North America, all eager to make a difference in the world. I found a place within WE that allowed me to support WE Villages by educating and inspiring young people to learn about issues impacting families and communities around the world.

Throughout my career, I also had the opportunity to work closely with many of the corporations that fund the work that WE does. I was able to pitch ideas that allowed youth in North America to take action on global issues they were passionate about, and the corporations that partnered with WE allowed them to do so by removing barriers preventing them from taking action. Companies funded the development of educational resources, action campaigns, scholarships and grants, and international travel opportunities. Most importantly, they created a space for youth to feel empowered, to share their ideas and to become more engaged citizens. The result—WE Villages—was growing, making bigger impacts, allowing more families to lift themselves out of poverty and improving the quality of life for millions.

The people who work at WE are passionate, driven, intelligent and always critical. They are changing the game on sustainable development, education and social justice. Their amazing ideas come to life and reach millions of people because of individuals, families and companies believe in what WE stands for. I believe in what WE stands for. I moved across the country six months ago, making it difficult for me to continue a full-time role with the organization, but it hasn’t changed my perspective. I will continue to advocate for WE—the work they do and the impact they make.

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