Our chapter had the honor to be invited by Microsoft YouthSpark to cover We Day California on February 25th, at the SAP Center in San Jose. This one-of-a-kind event that aims to promote philanthropic actions among the Youth brings together world famous speakers and performers with activists and co-founders Craig and Marc Kielburger, to share their desire to change the world. It is one of a series of stadium-sized events that kick-start a year of action through the We Act program, which provides educational resources and campaigns to help young people turn their inspiration into actions. As mentioned on their website, you cannot buy a ticket to We Day. Students earn this amazing experience through charity service.
We Day wasn’t always this big. It all started with Free The Children, an international charity and educational partner based on the belief that “young people can create change”. The first We Day was held in Toronto in 2007. Since then, thousands of youth and more each year are dedicating their time to volunteering in the US and internationally. Free the Children is supported in part by Me to We, the other creation of the Kielburger brothers. This social enterprise that offers volunteer travel opportunities and socially conscious products was created to help what we purchase matter in the world.
The first part of the day consisted in a press conference with We Day co-founder Craig Kielburger and Colbie Caillat, where they explained to us what the event is all about. This year, we had the chance to watch the likes of Joe Jonas, Zuriel Oduwole (12-year-old film maker, presidential interviewer & Girl Child Education advocate) and Colbie Caillat give motivational speeches and unforgettable performances, in an atmosphere that gave me shivers as soon as we stepped into the venue. The vision of 16,000 students and educators from over 600 schools across the state, reunited in one place and singing and dancing as one, is breathtaking. The second part included performances by the participating artists and moving speeches by speakers as young as 9, such as Ezra Frech and Zuriel Oduwole, 12.
But this is not what excited us the most. Two days before We Day California, we had the honor and great pleasure to meet a team of young women who changed my vision of women empowerment for good. Rebecca Arono, Beatrice Nasike, Bonita Nanziri and Rachel Aitaru came all the way from Uganda to hit the We Day stage as speakers. Brought out by Microsoft YouthSpark, the Team AfriGal (@afriGalTech) came to tell their story as women in tech. They came to talk to Her Campus and we have all the details of our interview with them get to know the journey of agrigal!
We are extremely grateful for this experience, and we thank Microsoft YouthSpark for bringing us out and giving us the chance to discover how we can make change happen.
See more photos of the event below!
Craig Kielburger, co-founder of We Day, and Colbie Caillat, singer/songwriter, at the press conference
The crowd sharing positive energy
Joe Jonas, singer/songwriter on the red carpet
Cody Simpson, singer/songwriter
AfriGal Team, software engineers
The HC team