Upper Canada College students have taken part in WE Day events for several years and the school had another strong contingent of boys at this year’s event at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre on Oct. 19.
This year also included the first WE Day Family Toronto event, which encouraged families to take action together by learning about local and global issues and exploring things they can do to help change the world.
UCC Grade 7 student Matthew Meyerowitz was invited to speak at the evening event and had this to say about the experience:
“It was nerve-racking and speaking in front of 20,000 people was scary. But I did it and now I have no problem speaking anywhere else. Every year WE Day gets better and better, and this year I think it was the most improved. It was so inspirational, a group of 20,000 people changing the world.
“My experience with WE is so special. In the summer of 2015 my family went on a ME to WE trip to Kenya and ever since we’ve been a WE family. When I was practising my speech right before we went on, I realized how much good we’ve really done. Every year I go to WE Day I get to feel the power of WE.”
WE Day invites thousands of students together for a celebration of youth making a difference in their local and global communities. Students earn their event tickets by taking one local and one global action through WE Schools, a yearlong educational program that engages and empowers young people to become compassionate leaders and active citizens.
WE Day has evolved from a single event in 2008 into a series of 14 stadium-sized events held across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.
It involves several guest speakers and performers, and among those taking part at the Toronto event this year were: singer Paula Abdul; former professional football player and Michael “Pinball” Clemons Foundation co-founder Michael Clemons; singer Jason Derulo; Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie; actress Mia Farrow; astronaut Chris Hadfield; pop/rock band Hedley; WE co-founders Craig and Marc Kielburger; hip-hop artist Macklemore; four-time Olympic medalist swimmer Penny Oleksiak; comedian Lilly Singh; ETALK reporter and Much host Liz Trinnear; author and mental health advocate Margaret Trudeau; and singer and actress Zendaya.