Earlier this year, I attended We Day Seattle at the Key Arena, a star studded event that gets young people excited and motivated to make a difference in the world. Before the show started, I attended a press conference with We Day co-founder Craig Kielburger and the We Day Seattle co-chair: Pete Carroll, the Head Coach of the Seattle Seahawks. Pete Carroll became involved after seeing Craig Kielburger speak, and helped to bring this program to America by contacting Microsoft, who became We Day’s founding partner in this region.
This program inspires children to take action year round: Tickets to We Day can’t be bought, but are earned through community service, so We Day serves as a celebration of hard work and motivation to continue. We Day is all about one person creating positive change, so during the Q&A session I took the opportunity to ask how parents can help their children become part of this initiative – starting at a local level, right here in our Pacific Northwest schools.
Beeb Ashcroft: For parents that want to empower their children to get involved with We Day, what advice would you give to help support them?
Craig Kielburger: There are so many great ways to get their kids involved. I was talking about an equation – spark + gift = better world. So your spark is whatever your kid’s naturally excited about, whatever that cause, and then to match it with their unique gift. So if they love sports: Student versus teacher sporting events, entry fee: Can of food for the food bank. If they love arts or drama, putting on a play. But the key is finding what they naturally love to do, and then bringing that with their cause. I would again mention We 365: It is an open, safe platform – there are no so-called “Dark corners” that ensure that there’s no communication that happens outside a parent’s knowledge. That is a great platform where families can every single day have a daily active kindness of service – things that require as short as five minutes time, things that require an hour’s time, things that you do literally that day to have a positive impact on your community or world.
Pete Carroll: I’d like to add to that, the freedom that the kids have to pursue what is important to them is really unique, I think – they’re not directed in any way other than to be supported and it’s really a common theme throughout, they can do whatever they can dream of – and sometimes, we have to help them find what their purpose is, but when they have one and they can pursue it, it’s such a cool thing. It’s just as purely supportive and as free and open as it should be and it’s great.
Craig Kielburger: One request for our blogging community, if I can put a second challenge out there, is this whole program is free for schools, thanks to our great partners. So all it takes is a parent or a teacher to put up their hands – or even a student – to go to the faculty and say, “We want this in our school.” So we’re in 520 schools. It is free. So it’s a speaking tour every year inspiring the kids. Every week a curriculum resource. Every month a new service campaign. Chance to earn your tickets to We Day. All of this is free thanks to our amazing supporters. We got the majority of schools in Seattle involved, but we’re trying to push further corners of Washington. So some of the little outside of Seattle corners, we’re still recruiting those schools. So if you can spread the word and if parents want to bring this program, we’d love for your kids to be in this stadium next year.
Pete Carroll: You can really help us spread the word – we want to spread on out from Seattle as much as we can. There’s hundreds of schools yet to be connected with, so you guys are the ones who can help us do this. Everything about this is right. Everything about this is good. Everything about this is something everybody will be grateful for.
Click here to learn more about bringing these programs to your child’s school. And be sure to tune into ABC tonight at 8 PM PT/ET to watch a live broadcast of We Day hosted by Selena Gomez!