We Day 2015


The 13 We Day attendees pictured in front of the We Day stage on February 25, 2015

Angela Chuang, Photojournalist

We Day is a free one day event hosted by the non-profit, Free the Children, where celebrities, politicians, social figures, and Free the Children ambassadors join thousands of youth activists to celebrate a whole year of service. But these youth activists can’t buy their tickets in; they have to earn it through one local action and one global action.  This year on February 25, 12 Yorba Linda High School students  and one Valencia High School student joined forces and journeyed to San Jose for the second We Day California.

What is Free the Children?
Free the Children is a non-profit founded by a twelve year-old boy named Craig Kielburger in 1995.  At the time Craig was a seventh grader who had just read an article in the Toronto Star about a boy named Iqbal Masih.  Iqbal was a twelve year-old boy from Pakistan who was murdered for speaking out against child labor after he had spent 6 years in a carpet factory, being denied his basic human rights.  Craig found inspiration through Iqbal’s story to create this organization.

Today, Free the Children works to free people from poverty, exploitation, a lack of education, and the mentality that you are too young to make a positive impact in the world.  Free the Children works in countries like Haiti, Kenya, Ecuador, rural China, India, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and even Canada and the US.  In the third world countries, FTC focuses on the five pillars: clean water and sanitation, food and agriculture, alternative income, healthcare, and education.

We Day
We Day is a day created by Craig and his brother, Marc, to not only celebrate a year of social change but also inspire another year of social change.  We Day is a completely free event, but youth volunteers earn their way in by doing one local action and one global action.  We Day happens all over Canada, United States, and even the UK.  The We Day stage has been graced with speakers like Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Dr. Jane Goodall, Magic Johnson, Elie Wiesel, Martin Luther King Jr. III,  and Nina Dobrev.  But it has also been graced with performers such as Demi Lovato, One Republic, Cody Simpson, the Kenyan Boys Choir, Colbie Calliat, Austin Mahone, and Imagine Dragons.

We Day is the movement of our generation.  The moment you walk through the arena’s door, you are in a room unlike any other room in the whole world.  At We Day California, there were over 16,000 youth in attendance who were all there for one reason: to create a movement of social change.  We Day isn’t a day about how many celebrities you see and meet; it is a day about recognizing the amount of people who share the same dream as you, celebrating the amount of change you have created in just 365 short days, and understanding how much you can accomplish for the future.  There are not enough words in the world to describe what an amazing and breath-taking experience We Day is.  We Day is the place for anyone who has a dream of changing the world for the better.

Aubrey Osorio (9), YLHS We Day attendee, stated, “We Day was one of the best experiences of my life.  You get to meet so many incredible and inspiring people that want to help change the world with you.  It’s such an eye-opening experience to see all of the amazing kids not much older than you that want to help create a change and who will work so hard in doing so.”   Following that Caitlyn Ortiz (10) said, “We Day gave me the opportunity to listen to motivational speakers, become more aware of what’s going on around the world, and be a part of a youth-sparked change.”

At We Day California this year, Colbie Calliat, Cody Simpson, Cher Lloyd, and many more performed for the 16000 youth activists, and speakers such as JR Martinez, Marlee Matlin, Craig and Marc Kielburger, Chord Overstreet, and many more spoke to inspire these youth activists into another year of change.  Many tears of inspirations were shed as the speakers and performers showed the young volunteers their soul and heart as they talked about messages they wanted to pass on to inspire the youth.  The energy and passion in the large arena was irreplaceable.

The 13 attendees from Valencia and Yorba Linda earned floor seats where they sat in the front row of the second stage where many speakers such as Marc and Craig Kielburger, Luke Bilyk, Kid President, Chord Overstreet, and Mustafa the Poet stood.  The 13 attendees were only a few feet away from some of the world’s most important social figures striving to inspire a drive for social change.

We Day was completely unforgettable, and YLHS We Club is excited to launch another year of social change and help its members earn their way into We Day next year to experience an unforgettable day.

Visit weday.com or freethechildren.com or join YLHS’s We Club to get more involved with Free the Children.