This year I had the privilege of once again attending WE Day Manitoba as Media. So this has been my 7th WE Day, I first started out as a Honoured Guest, to volunteering for three years, to speaking and two doing two years as Media!
Maybe you’re sitting there wondering what WE Day is. Here’s a short summary of what WE Day is:
WE Day is a celebration of people coming together to experience the “greatest classroom in the world” for the day – the cool thing I really love about WE Day is that you can’t buy a ticket to WE Day – You earn it through service by taking action on one local and one global cause through the WE Schools program.
In the 2016/2017 school year, more than 475 schools and groups across Manitoba accomplished the following through WE Schools:
- $630,000 raised in support of both local and global causes including reconciliation efforts, Syrian refugees, and raising awareness on bullying, homelessness, etc.
- 225,000 hours volunteered by WE School participants across Manitoba
Congratulations to all the youth who earned their way to WE Day this year!
To start off, I was able to attend the WE Day volunteer training with my brother, we attended with the folks from RBC and the RBC Youth Summit, although I wasn’t a volunteer, I was able to help out anyways. I was able to help fill the WE Bags. The one thing that was really fun was being able to meet Katelyn! She’s one of the Volunteer recruitment staff at WE, we chatted for awhile – it felt like we knew each other for so long. After creating the WE bags, I was able to join Katelyn near the exit handing out WE Volunteer pins to volunteers as they exited the venue. It was really cool and such an easy job (I had Laryngitis) – But something that was great was meeting some students that watched some of my speeches and conferences, I really love following up with people because I tend to have a busy schedule so it’s always a pleasure to meet fellow change-makers.
Something that stuck out most for me when they invited an elder to do a land acknowledgement and prayer – how cool? Another exciting thing is this year was being able to interview a couple people who I really thought inspired me the most. The first person I was able to interview was Ben Sabic. Ben is a student at the University of Manitoba – he’s also a community leader and mental health advocate. I think the reason why I was drawn to Ben is because we both use our personal experiences to raise awareness on Mental Health. When asked about ways someone can get involved – he said to just go for it, just take baby steps because you’ll eventually reach your goal! The thing that really stuck to me was when he said “While 1 in 5 people are affected by Mental Illness at some point in their life, 5 in 5 people have a Mental Health” What this really shows is that since we all have Mental Health, then it shouldn’t be something that’s stigmatized. Many people focus more on their physical health – for that reason, I think people like Ben are going to help end the stigma for sure!
One of the main highlights of WE Day this year was being able to interview Hannah Alper! Hannah and I met a few years ago at the WE Create Change tour, I remember sitting there thinking “Wow, this girl is only 10 and she’s already done so much” – at that point I had two options: 1) I can sit back and let it make me feel bad about myself because I wasn’t much compared to 10 year old Hannah or 2) Let her story help me ignite my spark and work towards achieving my goal of being the change I wish to see in the world. Fast forward a couple years, not only has Hannah built herself a global platform, she’s just published her first book called Momentus. It features 19 of Hannah’s role-models, and I cannot express how honoured I am to say that I am one of those 19 people. During WE Day Manitoba, we were able to reunite and talk about her book. I asked her why she decided to write a book such as Momentus and her answer will stick with me, she said “It really helps me share my message in a different outlet, but also all my role-models and people can really see themselves in my role-models and finish reading the book feeling inspired to change the world.” After our chat about Momentus, we were able to take a “Mini photo-shoot” with the WE sign and Hannah’s co-host Tai Young. It’s really cool how one person’s story can inspire you so much that it changes your life for the better. Here are a few photos we took in the Green Room.
Something I really enjoy every year at WE Day is seeing my old wrangler Paige, I met Paige two years ago when I spoke at WE Day Manitoba back in 2015, ever since then we always run into each other backstage and it always makes the day much better. My niece Braelyn actually talks about Paige throughout the year, but when she sees Paige at WE Day – she suddenly becomes shy. Once again, Thanks Paige for always managing to make WE Day even better!
Before I end off, I would like to say THANK YOU WE for always being so welcoming and for helping me with build my platform. I hope to see you all at WE Day next year, Miigwetch!