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As expected, WE Day 2015 was packed with motivational moments filling the Air Canada Centre with joy, inspiration, and education. Individuals spoke of their life experiences and hardships. Youth were encouraged to empower social change, follow their dreams, and never stop believing. With so many motivating moments, we’d be here all day trying to list them all, and if we listed them all, we’d be leaving very few surprises for the broadcast special on November 25th…
Here is a recap of our favourite inspiring moments from Toronto’s We Day 2015:
First to share his experience was Alex Deans, a teen who developed a software designed to help the visually impaired community. After being inspired by an elderly blind lady, Deans taught himself to code, and believe it or not, he developed a working software called Eye-Aid. His message for youth at WE Day was to chase their ‘Someday’. If you work hard, you can achieve anything you put your mind to, and that is when your someday will come to life.
Next, we heard from rowing Olympic medalist, Silken Laumann. Laumann thought her childhood dreams were crushed after an accident landed her in the hospital just 10 weeks before the Olympics. Instead of letting her doctors dictate the rest of her life, Laumann used her imagination to create a better future for herself, and managed to grab a bronze metal in the 1992 Olympics, despite being told she may never row again.
Marlee Matlin took the stage with her translator to share her inspiring story through the use of sign language—a language Matlin has come to rely on due to her inability to hear. Matlin embraces this hardship, and has become an Academy Award winning actress, author, and director by simply believing in herself and her abilities. She spoke about dreaming big in order to achieve success. Matlin was influenced by director, Henry Winkler, after meeting him at the age of 12. Matlin’s message for those in attendance at WE Day is to always have the confidence to persevere, succeed, and chase after your dreams, no matter what situations life throws your way.
There was one speaker that continued to grace the stage throughout the day while sharing her story. Her name is Annaliese Carr. Carr is the youngest person to swim across Lake Ontario, and she did it at the age of 14, but she didn’t just swim. In support of her swim, Carr raised $250,000 for Camp Trillium—a camp for children with cancer. By accomplishing her goal, she was able to realize that anything is possible when you put your mind to it, and finding a way to help communities while striving to reach those goals is an excellent motivator. We love seeing youth putting time and effort into making a difference in their community, even if the challenge seems impossible at first!
Tony Morgan is our final—and most motivating—speaker from the day. At the age of 14, Morgan became homeless for 3 years. Now, she is a feminist, activist, teacher and entrepreneur. She is extremely involved with her local community, and was accepted to Harvard University on her first try! What an amazing achievement that is! Morgan wants youth to know that no matter the hardships or curve balls life throws your way, you need to believe in yourself. In the words of Tony Morgan, “don’t let someone’s hurtful words drown out the voice inside of you”.
All of these individuals prove that no matter the situation, your confidence, community, and the power of WE can help make dreams, goals, and ambitions come to life. It’s important that WE as a community and society stick to together to advocate for social change so that our future is brighter for years to come. Even if the problems seem too big to change, WE together can make an impact.
#Craig Kielburger#Marc Kielburger#ME to WE#We Day#We Day 2015#We Day Toronto