||White River HS|
On Thursday, April 24th, 28 White River High School students and I had the privilege of attending “We Day” at the KeyArena in Seattle. The organization Free The Children organizes the event in cities all over the world as a part of an initiative for change.
14,000 middle and high school students were packed into the Key, and each one of them earned their ticket through service. To be invited, your school needed to have completed two service projects: one with global impact and one with community impact. We earned our tickets through a coin drive benefiting a Free The Children project aimed to provide goats to underdeveloped countries as a sustainable way to empower them, and a food drive benefiting our local food bank.The fact that the tickets were earned, not bought, made it significant, and all who were in attendance were very deserving.
Throughout We Day, students are taught that they have the capabilities to change the world, are shown ways that they can make a difference, and are inspired to begin working to fix the problems they see around them. This year, the day was centered on “empowerment”-- economic, technological, social, and educational. With each topic, numerous guests presented and performed, inspiring, provoking and moving the students. Some notable guests included Seahawks coach Pete Carroll along with Doug Baldwin and Russell Wilson, champion boxer Laila Ali, olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno, astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison, the Seattle-native band The Head And The Heart, actress Lily Collins and many more. These guests each articulated a piece of the bigger picture, from accepting yourself and others, to the power technology has to change, to empowering those all around the world with self-sustaining resources.
Some things that were especially impactful to me were Dr. Jemison’s advice on empowering yourself, not giving yourself boundaries and accomplishing your dreams, Laila Ali’s thoughts on standing up for those around you and showing your support for the community, and Glee’s Becca Tobin describing the equation “Gift + Cause = Change”, where each person uses their unique strength to impact something they are passionate about. What an incredible way to kick off “The Year of Empowerment” that was!
The variety of guests ensured an active audience and everyone leaving the arena with something to take back with them. I am so glad that I was given the chance to attend such a propelling event, surrounded by so many like-minded people.
If you would like to get involved or learn more, you can download their app “We365” or visit their website at weday.com.