Amy Schlein

Director of Communications, WE

During my five years with WE as the former head of PR and Communications, I worked with some of the biggest media outlets across Canada and the United States to share the incredible initiatives of the organization. However, the project that I am most proud of is the coordination of a government-funded documentary that followed two Toronto teenagers who led fundraisers at their schools after the 2004 tsunami and then traveled to Sri Lanka to commemorate the opening of a new school that they raised funds to build. To prepare for this documentary, I interviewed many young students across Toronto who rallied their classmates and school together to raise money through WE’s Adopt a Village program (now WE Villages). I was so overcome by listening to their passion, energy and desire to make a difference. The two Toronto students who eventually traveled to rural Sri Lanka, helped to cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony of the school. Together, they represented the amazing efforts of their peers across the city. The overall experience showed me the real power and impact that young people can make. WE made that possible! It gave the students the platform, and support to create change. It celebrated their success. It was at that moment, early in my experience working with WE, when I realized I had the best job in the world by getting to tell and share their stories.

WE was one of my first jobs out of university. I worked with WE for over five years before I left to pursue my MBA at one of the top international business schools in the world. The MBA program quickly highlighted the uniqueness of my work experience with WE. Through business cases and sharing experiences, my classmates often discussed their challenges in working with superiors, managing bullying in the office and motivating employees. These were issues I couldn’t relate to. I came from WE, where most of my colleagues and superiors became friends. We were all young, motivated and wanted to make a difference. After work I frequently stayed around the office to attend a colleague’s presentation about a social issue they were passionate about or listen to an update about another colleague’s recent travels to WE’s international projects. For me, the office was the greatest way to learn about global issues and it the best way to make new and interesting friends. Following the MBA, I came back to work WE in a different capacity. After two years away, the organization had grown remarkably, but it was heartwarming to be welcomed back to same culture of passionate, young and ambitious people. Although I am no longer involved in the day-to-day operations of the organization, I continue to be a supporter and active donor. WE was my education, my career formation and as a parent with three young kids, it is a huge source of inspiration.

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