There has been a lot of news about the refugee crisis over the last year both in Europe and here in Canada. We have seen terrible images of babies washed up onto beaches and been impacted by the surge of terror that seems at times insurmountable. However, there are also stories of amazing generosity, innovation and inspiration amid all of chaos that need to be shared. Continue reading
In an age of negative news and increasing mental illness is it possible to pursue a positive alternative? Kate McKenzie believes that peace both individually and internationally can only be brought about through sharing positive stories. So she founded Worldviews Project to inspire others to believe that positive change is possible by making short documentaries of people from nine countries over seven months. Continue reading
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!
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!
This Saturday youth can join Kate via Skype at the Calgary downtown library to learn practical skills to help them in projects they are currently undertaking, learn how to get involved in their community and meet other youth that want to make a difference! Do you know someone who would be interested? Send this poster their way.
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!
WINS Thrift Store is a social enterprise that uses they money it makes to provide resources including a free referral program for household needs and clothing as well as learning opportunities for families. Its environmental program, employment skills program and collaboration with the community help make Calgary a better city! Get involved by visiting their website.
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!