Forty students and six teachers representing eight Brandon schools travelled to Winnipeg to attend the second We Day Manitoba event at the MTS Centre Tuesday.
Forty local students from eight Brandon schools are feeling inspired and empowered after attending We Day in Winnipeg.
Grade 7 student Mary Longman, who attends Earl Oxford School, is coming back with leadership ideas to try in her own school and community.
"Hopefully we can do more food drives and work hard to use less water, because so many children around the world don’t have any water," Longman said.
The youth empowerment event attracted some 18,000 Manitoba students to the MTS Centre Tuesday. Organized by the Canadian charity Free the Children, We Day is designed to motivate youth in leading local and global change. The day-long event included inspirational stories, motivational speakers and a variety of performances, including Lights, Shawn Desman and Justin Nozuka.
"The atmosphere is crazy and fun," said Laura Pattison, a Grade 7 student at Earl Oxford School. "Everyone is sending good energy. It’s amazing to be a part of the youth revolution. It’s awesome to help out the community."
Ex-Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Justice Murray Sinclair, Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Kevin Chief and Free the Children founders Marc and Craig Kielburger were all featured speakers at the event.
Pattison said one message she is bringing home with her is "to be positive and never give up." She was inspired by Spencer West, a motivational speaker who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro despite amputated legs.
Meadows School counsellor Dayna Galatiuk was one of six teachers who attended the event with the students.
"It’s amazing. There is so much energy and enthusiasm and excitement in this building, I can’t even explain. It’s unbelievable," Galatiuk said.
In addition to Earl Oxford and Meadows, students from Vincent Massey, Crocus Plains, Neelin, Kirkcaldy Heights, George Fitton and St. Augustine schools attended.
"I hope they come back with a huge excitement for making a change in the world, and that they feel empowered as young people, that they are able to make that change and to make a difference," Galatiuk said.
Lili Jardine, community drug and alcohol education co-ordinator, said she hopes students will launch their own campaigns, such as a mini We Day in their own schools.
"This is such a great day. They learn to overcome their obstacles and make their own path to create a positive change," she said.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 31, 2012