WE Day kicks off with Ciara, Kat Graham, The Band Perry & more

WE Day, a series of global educational events celebrating youth making a difference in their local and global communities, alongside Co-Title Sponsors Microsoft Philanthropies and Allstate, kicks off today (April 20th) as it brings together world-renowned speakers and performers including Ciara, Kat Graham, Lilly Singh, The Band Perry, Paula Abdul, Jordan Smith, Marlee Matlin, Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks’ Ricardo Lockette and Doug Baldwin, George Takei, Madison Beer, Bailee Madison, Dominic Sherwood, Becca Tobin, Kardinal Offishall, Seattle Sounders’ Jordan Morris, Seattle Storm’s Sue Bird, SOL, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and more. Alongside international activists and WE Day co-founders, Craig and Marc Kielburger, the cast of returning WE Day fan favorites and new faces join 15,000 students and educators from over 550 schools to celebrate the contributions of young people and kick-start another year of change. WE Day streams live beginning at 9 am PST.

Today, comedian, actress and YouTube entertainer, Lilly Singh, takes the WE Day stage to inspire thousands of students, “This will be my third time speaking at WE Day and I am incredibly honored to be a part of such a transformative movement. To be able to join thousands of my fellow unicorns in a commitment to spread the message around the world that ‘you too can make a difference.'”

WE Day Seattle celebrates the remarkable stories of people leading change and provides the youth in attendance inspiration to find their place within the WE Day movement—a movement that celebrates and inspires this generation’s shift from me to we. Joining the WE Day stage will be local young people with inspiring personal stories like Abigail Houck, age 25, who at only nine years-old was diagnosed with childhood Leukemia. A once athletic child, she found herself feeling tired and broken as the medication being taken to fight the disease altered her mood, memory and weight. Determined to regain control of her life, Abigail began dreaming about attending the University of Washington—a school she passed daily on her way to treatment. As treatments took a toll on her family’s finances, Abigail received a 4-year scholarship from Cancer for College—an organization providing young people impacted by cancer with the opportunity to continue their education. Now cancer free, Abigail is an advocate for pediatric cancer patients and survivors. Though the odds may have been stacked against her, she always knew she would live to share her story and aid those who followed in her path. Now, as the Pacific Northwest Director of Cancer for College, Abigail is determined to make her gift of life count by providing college scholarships to cancer patients who experienced the very same hardships she once did. Abigail is just one of the many young people who will share their story to motivate their WE Day peers.

WE Day Seattle will energize the crowd through a day full of powerful educational speeches, inspirational moments and empowering performances. A few must-see highlights include:

  • Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and record producer, Ciara, gets the crowd on their feet to a medley of her chart-topping hits joined by 20 youth dancers from the group KreativMindz
  • Comedian, actress and YouTube entertainer, Lilly Singh, shares her personal life journey inspiring the crowd to be proud of who they are and spread happiness amongst their peers
  • GRAMMY Award-winning sibling trio, The Band Perry, energizes the crowd with performances of their hit song Done and new single, Best One Yet
  • Seattle fan favourites, Head Coach of the Seattle Seahawks, Super Bowl XLVIII Champions, and WE Day Seattle Co-Chair, Pete Carroll and Seattle Seahawks players share words of encouragement with the WE Day audience

“We believe that, if given the right tools, today’s youth can conquer anything they put their minds to. Annually, 200,000 students coast to coast and around the globe, from over 10,000 schools, earn their tickets to WE Day by creating tangible benefits for their communities,” said WE Day co-founder Craig Kielburger. “By bringing together thousands of young change-makers today, students from across Washington will know that they’re not alone and that collectively, they are making their voices heard.”

More than a one-day event, WE Day is connected to the yearlong WE Schools program, which provides hands-on, student-led campaigns designed to enhance a school’s existing social initiatives or to spark new ones. WE Schools helps young people turn the day’s inspiration into sustained action. By taking action on one local and one global cause, students are equipped with the tools to succeed academically, in the working world and as active citizens.

In the 2014/2015 school year, students and educators from across Washington state participated in remarkable social change. Over 224,000 youth were inspired to take steps to improve the world through WE Schools; volunteering more than 569,500 hours for local and global causes and raising over $897,000 in support of local and global organizations.

You can’t buy a ticket to WE Day—students from across the country earn their way by the actions they take on one local and one global cause of their choice. WE Day is free of charge to the thousands of students and teachers in attendance at the event and statewide, thanks to the generous support of partners led by Co-Title Sponsors Microsoft Philanthropies and Allstate.

As supporters of WE Day Seattle, Microsoft Philanthropies is proud to empower young people—in Seattle and around the world—to achieve more through its YouthSpark initiative; and Allstate emboldens future generations with the strength, confidence and skills to rise up as leaders and realize their full potential—and to show the world that good starts young.

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Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.