Last Thursday, Take the Lead participants earned themselves a day off from school to learn more about service learning projects and the impact they each can make by volunteering. We Day is an annual celebration of service learning that takes place all over the US, Canada, and UK. 15,000 youth from the Chicagoland area gathered at Allstate Arena to learn from a multitude of speakers: Veterans, high school entrepreneurs, and other community leaders. Additionally, they saw stellar performances from Jordan Smith and Ciara.
To earn a ticket, students must have completed a service learning project or have planned to complete one. Some examples of projects UI Team Captains have done or are planning to do: local park cleanups along with soccer tournament, bake sales to benefit school projects, school beautification projects, volunteering at a local homeless shelter or helping plant the school garden.
The speakers focused on how each and every student can make an impact in their community, despite the fact that many adults may not believe so. JR Martinez, an Iraqi War veteran who was injured during his service, challenged Team Captains to believe in yourself and not worrying about what others may think. Additionally, Captains received information on how to better design and execute their own service learning projects.
Team captains left equipped with the knowledge to make changes in their communities. Thank you We Day for celebrating the accomplishment of Take the Lead Team Captains from all across Chicago!