Malea Schapp (left) and Grace Farquharson were two of the students selected from Belmont Elementary to attend We Day in Vancouver. (Lisa Farquharson/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Former local grad empowers Langley students at We Day

An annual event aims to inspire youth

Students from Langley got a big dose of inspiration at We Day in Vancouver on Tuesday including from a local graduate.

Grade 7 students from Belmont Elementary and Yorkson Creek Middle School heard inspirational stories from difference makers including retired NBA player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; Canadian musician Serena Rider; track and field athlete and philanthropist Rick Hansen; and Canadian television personality Jessi Cruikshank among many others.

Others included Walnut Grove graduate Brady Lumsden who took to the stage in Rogers Arena in front of roughly 20,000 students to share his story about the Weekend Fuelbag initiative, acccording to the Langley School District.

“Weekend Fuelbag is a youth-run organization with the goal of providing malnourished students food on the weekend,” explained Lumsden. “Everyday, roughly 20 per cent of students in B.C. are showing up to school hungry.”

Lumsden was motivated to take on the social issue after he and his cousin decided to help out a friend who was in need.

“We raised money to buy food and see how many people we could support,” he said. “Over the course of three years, the Weekend Fuelbag was able to raise over $115,000 in food and money donations. And with that we were able to provide 35,000 meals to those in need.”

We Day organizers acknowledged Lumsden’s efforts to raise awareness about the social issue and surprised him with a billboard to help raise awareness about the cause.

Current Langley students left the event feeling empowered.

“There was such a positive atmosphere at We Day. It made me feel like I am not too young to make a difference in the world,” said Charis Lai from Belmont Elementary.

An annual event series aimed to empower youth, tickets for We Day aren’t purchased rather earned.

Maryann Balzarini, a teacher at Belmont Elementary, said the school applied for tickets months ago and was awarded 20.

“Receiving tickets was based in part on what our students did last year as leaders in our community,” explained Balzarini.

“Last year, our Grade 6 and 7 students spearheaded many projects from organized hampers at Christmas for needy families in our community, to creating a ‘Chores for Charity’ campaign wherein they raised over $1,700 by encouraging all students to do chores and donate the money they earned doing them to help a needy community have access to clean drinking water.”

Meanwhile, Tamara Pudlas, a teacher at Yorkson Creek, said students from the school left the high-energy event ready to implement change.

“We participate in We Day, because it inspires youth to be catalysts for positive impact in their local and global communities,” she explained. “My group has left energized and ready to use the power of ‘We’ to affect change.”

The school has planned a trip to Kenya in March 2021 where students and staff will get to experience first-hand life in an “Adopt a Village” location in rural Kenya, according to Pudlas.

“Travellers will engage in community development projects and learning modules, cultural immersion like Swahili lessons and Maasai Warrior training, develop leadership and action planning skills and return home changed for the better,” she said.


@JotiGrewal_
joti.grewal@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

‘Godfather’ of co-housing makes a stop in Langley

Architect and author Charles Durrett spoke about the community concept on Sunday

Langley tots invited to come dance around to live holiday tunes

Rose Gellert String Quartet aims to introduce classic music to children

Centennial Centaurs best Kelowna Owls 84-81

Coquitlam team emerges as 2019 Boys TBI Champions at the Langley Events Centre on Saturday night

Langley’s own Dallas Smith rolls through B.C. on the CP Holiday Train Dec. 11 to 17

Lower Mainland stops include Agassiz, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Port Moody, and Port Coquitlam

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Four men in hospital after early morning Vancouver stabbing

A large group of men was seen fighting in Yaletwon

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Most Read