As WE Day Alberta moves from Calgary to Edmonton it continues to inspire students all across the province.
By Chinelo Onwualu
Get ready, because on October 12 tens of thousands of students and educators will transform Rogers Place, Edmonton, into a celebration of doing good that’s like none other.
WE Day Alberta, which moves from the Saddledome in Calgary, is an unprecedented night of world-renowned speakers and A-list performers. It draws more than 970 schools and groups that have made a difference across the province—and the world—through the WE Schools program.
WE Day Alberta is one of 19 WE Day events held in stadiums across North America, the U.K. and the Caribbean. Each year, more than 200,000 students from over 16,000 schools attend WE Days, and millions more tune in through TV broadcasts and online. Each WE Day showcases a powerful lineup of world-renowned speakers, thought leaders and performers.
WE Day and WE Schools programming empower students to find their own passion and chart their own paths for social change.
“WE Day offers students, educators and parents the necessary tools and inspiration to take action and help to make doing good, doable,” says Dalal Al-Waheidi, Executive Director of WE Day Global.
However, you can’t buy a ticket to one of these events. Attendees earn their way there by volunteering for one local and one global cause of their choice. Since 2007, students involved in WE School’s year-long service-based learning programs have raised more than $119 million for 6,165 organizations and volunteered for a combined total of over 46.4 million hours. Proof that when young people have the chance to harness their passion and energy, they are an unstoppable force for positive change.
Through the program last year, Alberta students volunteered over 850,000 hours and raised more than $1.7 million in support of over 500 global and local causes.
Here are a few examples:
For the students of Edmonton’s S. Bruce Smith School, becoming part of the WE Schools program in 2012 meant gaining valuable resources that helped focus their passion and broaden their global impact. Last October, they collected 2,356 pounds of food and raised over $300 to donate to the Edmonton Food Bank. They had to deliver the food using a truck provided by their local Ford dealership.
In Calgary, the Greens Give Back group, the social activism arm of the Calgary Foothills Soccer Club GU15 04 Prospects, a middle school girls’ soccer club, gave their time to volunteering at local food banks and socializing with residents at a nursing home, after joining the WE Schools program last year. They also helped organize a Halloween Family Fun Night at a high school for pregnant and parenting teens.
At Muriel Clayton Middle School in Airdrie, AB, the WE Schools program has proven that distance is no barrier when it comes to helping others. Students in the school’s I Can club have helped support villages thousands of miles away by building libraries and providing students with refurbished laptops, as well as families in their own community, bringing awareness to issues such as homelessness, food security and access to education and clean water. It has been a chance to learn about and connect with communities very different from their own.
“It’s very rewarding for our kids here,” says Barb Tanner, Child Development Advisor at Muriel Clayton and founder of the club. “It’s a good learning experience for them.”