CARBONEAR, NL — The 14 students who gathered in Carbonear Academy’s library Thursday afternoon weren’t sure what to expect.
A few minutes later, their mouths were left gapping upon learning they’ll all be in Montreal in less than two weeks for WE Day festivities.
“We just sort of thought little cups or something else,” Grade 8 student Chelsea Hyde said with a laugh when asked what they were expecting to receive during Thursday’s visit to the library. Students were first told they’d be getting a few WE Day related prizes from an event sponsor.
Ultimately, the presence of WestJet representatives gave them a bit of a clue as to what might be coming. Through the WestJet WE Day Experience, they’ll join two teacher sponsors on an all-expenses-paid trip for the event, held Feb. 21 at St. Denis Theatre. Dozens of speakers will appear, sharing messages of hope designed to impact lives and promote change.
“It’s really exciting,” fellow Grade 8 student Marissa Moyse told The Compass.
Students from the school recently got involved with the WE movement, which encourages young people to find solutions to problems plaguing the globe. Since last year, Carbonear Academy students have raised $1,700 for WE Villages’ food projects in Kenya. Students have also organized multiple food drives and bake sales to support local food banks.
“It’s just sort of a good thing — I like helping people,” explained Hyde. “It’s really fun to do it with the school too, because we have a lot of activities.”
“We’ve been learning about how to be global citizens in (English Language Arts), and I think that helped … let us know young people need to help your community and area,” added Moyse.
Students going on the trip were randomly selected from the school’s Grade 8 classes. Speakers for the WE Day event include a variety of TV personalities, writers, athletes, musicians, activists and journalists, plus WE Day co-founder Craig Kielburger.