The selfless acts of some local students making a difference in the world has earned them the opportunity of a lifetime.
A total of 13 students from Alexis Park Elementary are being flown to Saskatoon to take part in WE Day March 2. The Free the Children’s stadium-sized youth empowerment and education event features A-list performers, world-renowned speakers and tens of thousands of youth to celebrate a year of action that transformed communities and changed lives.
The well-deserving Grade 6 and 7 students will join the movement of young people leading local and global change. The opportunity being one that many of the children would have never been afforded if it weren’t for WestJet providing free flights and accommodation.
“It’s quite a privilege that we have been chosen, it’s a big event,” said teacher Laurel McEachnie, who along with Kristen Dion will be chaperoning the students. “Out of all the schools and all the areas that could have been chosen for this, we were chosen.”
Principal Mary Takasaka admits she didn’t even know what WE Day was when she found out about this incredible opportunity some of her students would be given.
“I couldn’t get past the part of believing that they were actually going to pay to send us.”
The experience is being granted due to the efforts the two classes have been tirelessly working on to make a difference both locally and globally.
Before the holidays they held a small shopping market for students, selling new and slightly used items for a loonie or toonie, and then donating the funds to the Vernon Women’s Transition House Society.
“We want to help because we want to help as much as we can,” said student Cassie Hamilton.
They also support the Vernon Zimbabwe Project and are planning a movie and popcorn event and candy gram sales for Valentine’s Day.
“This is a school that has some struggling families and here they are fundraising for a charity and giving back,” said Takasaka.
The students had no idea what WE Day was, or that this opportunity was even available, they are simply giving back out of the goodness of their hearts.
“That sense of giving back is the thing that’s driving it right now,” said Takasaka. “That feels good, and it’s making it a better place.”
The Alexis Park students are some of the more than 90 outstanding Canadian youth whom WestJet is removing the barriers to attending WE Day by providing flights and accommodations.
“We want to keep encouraging the kids, they want to do change in their community and globally,” said WestJet’s Catherine Isernia of Vernon.
For the students from the two classes who don’t get to go to WE Day, their efforts are not going unrecognized.
Vernon School District Superintendent Joe Rogers is treating the classes to a day up at Tube Town at Silver Star.
For a video of the announcement at Alexis Park Elementary with the students, visit vernonmorningstar.com.