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'We Day' empowers Wrenshall students for social change

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'We Day' empowers Wrenshall students for social change
Cloquet Minnesota 122 Avenue C 55720

On Oct. 8, 75 students from Wrenshall High School attended We Day Minnesota at the Xcel Energy Center. The event was the kickoff to Wrenshall's participation in the We Act movement, a blueprint for young people to take action as agents of social change.

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An extensive lineup of speakers and performers motivated and inspired 18,000 students from Minnesota to create a change in their schools, community and the world during the event. Minnesota is the second state, only to Oregon, to host the We Day movement; no other states in the U.S. have made the commitment yet. Wrenshall students attended along with 600 schools from Minnesota.

Headlining performances included artists Carly Rae Jepsen, the Jonas Brothers and inspirational speakers Martin Luther King III and Molly Burke, who shared their stories about taking action to create change.

The star-studded list of performers and speakers also included Governor Mark Dayton; Brenda Cassellius, commissioner of education; Chris Coleman, mayor of St. Paul; Bridgit Mendler, platinum-selling artist and star of Disney's "Good Luck Charlie"; Minnesota Vikings and other NFL players; Barbara Pierce Bush, humanitarian, co-founder and president of Global Health Corps, and daughter of former President George W. Bush; Mia Farrow, award-winning actress, activist and United Nations ambassador; Spencer West, "Me to We" inspirational speaker, Free the Children ambassador, author and double amputee who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro on his hands and in his wheelchair in June 2012; and many more.

The young people attending the program reported they were fired up to go back to their schools and make a change.

The We Day and We Act movement is an initiative of Free the Children, an organization started by two brothers, Craig and Marc Kielburger. They started this whole movement at the age of 12 when they were moved by the story of courage and bravery of a young 12-year-old boy from Pakistan who was assassinated for speaking out against child slavery and child labor. You can read the whole story of their organization at www.freethechildren.com.

The message is to strive to empower a generation of young global citizens through the inspirational We Day event and a year-long educational initiative called We Act, which offers curricular resources, campaigns and materials to help turn the day's inspiration into sustained action. The speakers shared about starting small and doing what you love to help out your school, community and the world.

This year, the Wrenshall We Act team will focus on helping fight hunger, poverty and bullying in school, their community and the world. Some of the team's immediate plans include a "We Scare Hunger" Halloween food drive and packing 1,200-1,400 weekend meals at the Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank in Hermantown. The team also plans to help out a family during the Christmas season and work on a global project for spring.

The Wrenshall We Act team is comprised of students from the general student body in grades 7-12, National Honor Society, Student Council, Peer Helpers and the Friends of Rachel Club.

If your school is interested in getting involved in the We Act movement, visit www.weday.com.

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