Athletes Making a Difference – Sam Effah & Amonn Nelson

  Spending time with Sam Effah and Amonn Nelson reminded me of a couple of things, first of all that reaching goals takes a lot of hard work and secondly it inspired me to go for a really hard run in my workout that day!

They shared with me that taking the first steps towards their goals whether it was trying Track & Field for the first time or pushing towards the Olympics was one of the hardest parts.  Both of them needed others around them to inspire them. For Amonn it was her Mom and her coach.  For Sam his parents and his coaches also made a huge impact. These were the people who knew them and told them they believed in them.  It reminded me that often we forget to tell others what we see that is good in them.  Wouldn’t it be awesome if everyday someone told you what they thought you rocked at?

By having the support of people that knew them and believed in them from the start both Sam and Amonn have been able to pursue a very difficult dream.  But, they’ve also achieved something greater.  They have been involved in their community and shown great leadership. Sam is now a Right to Play Athlete Amassador which has allowed him to use sport as a way to help teach things like sanitation, HIV prevention and leadership through games in developing countries.  Both of them have volunteered in local schools as well helping to inspire a future generation to take a chance and pursue their dreams.  When Sam visited Alice Jamieson Girls’ Academy, where I teach, my track team was impacted greatly.  One athlete even said that seeing him work towards his goals and hearing his story had inspired her to pursue athletics as a career!

Sam had an unfortunate injury leading up to 2013 but is now aiming for 2016 Olympics.  Most recently at the Edmonton International Track Classic  he won with a time of 10.09 seconds for the 100 m.  This will qualify him for the World Championships in Moscow Russia in August.  Both him and Amonn will be attending the World Championships.  We can make a difference by cheering them on at local events, posting comments of encouragement here for them to read or by supporting them financially.  To cheer them on across the ocean you can find the results at the following two sites: Athletics Canada or World Championship Results.  Best of luck Sam and Amonn we will be cheering for you!

Games Website:
http://www.kazan2013.ru/en/events?filter[sport]=AT

Speaking at TEDxYYC

 I always encourage my students to take a step out of their comfort zone and be okay with taking risks.  I even have broken track and field hurdles up around my classroom to remind them that it is okay to run at life’s obstacles at 100%.  If you fall, I remind them, it’s okay, just remember to get back up and keep going.

Somehow, when I have to take that advice myself it gets a lot harder! I was invited today to speak at TEDxYYC.  I’m honoured, excited but mostly nervous!  This talk will be an amazing opportunity to share positive news with a new group of people and to honour those who participated in Worldviews Project. There’s a part of me though that still always feels scared.  What if no one is interested?  What if I mess it up?

I guess I’m also nervous that I’ll be branded as “Positive Story Girl” instead of Kate. I’m not positive all the time.  Sometimes I’m angry and I want to punch people or yell or scream.  I just try to work really hard to control those feelings and act in a better way.  I’m scared that somehow giving this talk will make people think I have it all figured out, which I don’t.  I’m just trying to be brave enough to say that my intention is to be positive.

I’m not so different from my students, taking that first step and staring that obstacle in the face is hard.  I’m determined to do it though.  I want to be the kind of person who approaches these kinds of challenges with courage rather than fear.

I will need all of you supporting me in this journey.  I need to know when I step on that stage on June 14th that there is a community of people behind me cheering me on.  Because, ultimately it’s not about me at all.  I’m giving this TED talk because I believe that we need to share positive news.  So even if I’m not the perfect ambassador for this message I’m going to give it my best shot.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!  Or better yet, buy a ticket and come be a friendly face in the audience!

 

Radio Girls Podcasts!

  Working in colaboration with my Gr.8 students we have created 16 podcasts about our  journey to discover new experiences in Calgary! Come and hear the podcasts and share in our unique experiences April 11, 2013 at Alice Jamieson Girls’ Academy!

Podcast Listening Party!

   Over the last few months, I have been working tirelessly with my current Gr.8 students to create podcasts.  Their mission was to go out into Calgary and expand their worldview.  They had 20 tasks to complete ranging from trying a new type of ethnic cuisine to taking a new form of transportation.  It was amazing to see my students tackle new experiences head on and look for ways to explore everything Calgary has to offer! Too often we fail to see the wonder and beauty that’s in our own backyard so it has been awesome to have the chance to see Calgary through a new light!

We partnered with Calgary 2012 GIGYYC and Danielle Nerman from CBC Radio to be able to create 16 podcasts! We will be sharing each of these stories this Thursday, April 11, 2013 at Alice Jamieson Girls’ Academy at 7pm.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Inspirational Monday: Creating Great Public Space

 This week I met with Calgary author, Chris Turner who is making his city better by writing and speaking about the importance of great public spaces.  He is a unique voice in the world of urban development and climate issues since he focuses on hope rather than the doom and gloom ,choosing to emphasize positive change.  His solutions, success stories and insights into the ways that individuals and small groups can make positive change in their communities provides hope for improving cities!

Exciting News! Youth Worldviews Project Partnership

 I am so excited to announce a new partnership with the Calgary Public Library and Youth Central to offer Youth Worldviews Project! Through a series for four sessions we will be mentoring and equipping Calgary youth to get involved in their communities and develop leadership skills!   Continue reading

5 Ways to Focus on the Positive

Over the last couple of weeks I have been focused on trying to find funding for Worldviews Project.  Each day I wake up and start off early phoning people, sending out funding proposals, emailing and keeping my fingers crossed that one of them will respond with a “yes!”  So what do you do when you face rejection?  What are the solutions?  How do you stay positive in the face of so much competition? Continue reading

3 Things for Calgary: Reel World Youth Documentaries

  To help advertise our film festival and to show what youth are doing in Calgary to make it a better place, we submitted this short film to 3 Things for Calgary.  3 Things for Calgary is an initiative of Mayor Nenshi  to engage Calgarians by encouraging them to find 3 ways they can make their city better.  I love this concept!

The Worldviews Project!

Junior High school teacher, Kate McKenzie’s students told her they felt hopeless because there were insurmountable problems and bad news everywhere they looked. Kate set out to inspire her students by demonstrating how one small action can make the world a little bit better. She took her lesson on the road to inspire many more people to make a difference and generate positive news. Be part of the adventure! Follow along as she shares about her travels to nine countries over seven months, seeking out community leaders who are innovating creative solutions that bring people together and create positive change.