While most Carmel High School students will be cramming last minute for AP tests on April 27, 20 members of This Club Saves Lives will be attending WE Day to watch big celebrities—like last year’s lineup of Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and Big Sean—speak and perform at the Forum in Inglewood.
WE Day is a day that celebrates students and youth who are making a difference globally and locally through volunteer work; the event’s goal is to inspire young people to take social action. The name “WE” comes from the event’s goal of empowering the youth to change the generation’s mindset from “me” to “we” and changing the youth’s focus from the individual to the community.
“It was definitely a life-changing experience. You could feel the positive energy in the room,” says junior Coral Barrett, President of TCSL, who attended WE Day last year. “As you looked around the room, you could tell everyone was there for the same reason, which was to better our world.”
TCSL is a club created by CHS seniors last year that works on community service projects and will be attending WE Day for the second year this spring.
“I think it’s going to be really cool to go and volunteer and help out while we’re in the area,” junior and first-year member Katya Fredericksen says.
CHS’ WE Day experience is more than just going to the WE Day event—while the club is in Los Angeles, they also do volunteer projects.
“We get to go somewhere and actually participate in the community, volunteer and see someplace we normally don’t go to and just have a bigger experience instead of it just going to the one-day celebration,” says Leigh Cambra, staff adviser for TCSL.
The club will be volunteering at organizations such as PATH, a nonprofit that provides homes and services to the homeless, as well as Baby2Baby, an organization that provides necessities for children from low-income families until they are 12 years old. Last year, the club visited the headquarters for This Bar Saves Lives and the Thirst Project.
“We were all there for a reason—we all like to help—because the way you get into WE Day is by doing community service projects locally and globally,” says junior Diego Cabrera, co-secretary of TCSL, who attended WE Day two years ago.
The club did not buy tickets to get into WE Day, but rather earned their tickets by showing that the club has made an impact by doing volunteer work and community service. It is required that each school that attends WE Day has to have a global project and a local project.
“We have done a lot more than that,” says Cambra, regarding the minimum requirements to get into the event.
The Thirst Project is the global project that TCSL participates in by hosting the Thirst Gala in the beginning of the school year. The club has done local projects this year that include the toiletry drive for Family House San Francisco, volunteering to help feed the homeless on Thanksgiving and putting up valentine hearts that around the school that were inspired by WE Day.
“The whole thing was so cool. It was really fun to see everyone’s enthusiasm for it all,” Cambra says. “I felt like we all really bonded.”
WE Day is connected with WE charity, which was founded in 1995 by child’s rights activist Craig Kielburger. Since the first WE Day in 2007, the event has raised over $45 million and has donated to 1,000 charities.
Sophomore and first-year member Clementine Chamberlain says, “I’m excited to get inspired to make change.”