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We Day's message of change inspires Federal Way teens
The first U.S. installment of We Day has come and gone. A number of Federal Way Public Schools students who were lucky to attend had the chance to share what the event meant to them during the school board meeting April 9.
Brady Fankhauser, Jordan Crahan, Kristina Kim and Torri Brown were just four of the nearly 1,300 students and staff who attended the celebrity-packed We Day on March 27 at KeyArena. Students gained admission by doing community service; one notable project included a massive local Halloween food drive.
The four students at the board meeting were asked to describe We Day in 10 words or less, their favorite moment, and how they feel We Day will affect them going forward. Fankhauser, a junior at Decatur High School, said the experience left him inspired.
“10 words or less? I just have to say ‘life changing.’ My favorite moment was definitely just looking out into the crowd, singing with Jennifer Hudson, seeing all the lights light up, and just being awestruck,” Fankhauser said. “This experience changed me, it’s impacted me and inspired me…to start a group…to help people get out of child slavery. Whatever it takes to end child slavery.”
Crahan also had the chance to experience a We Day event in Vancouver, B.C. Crahan said seeing all the hard work by his peers and teachers was the most rewarding part.
“My favorite We Day moment had to have been watching everybody else get out of it what I had already seen,” he said. “The excitement in everybody else’s faces when we go from hyping this event, and seeing all this build-up and participating in these events, to seeing it actually come to life right in front of your face, that was the most rewarding part.”
Crahan, a senior at Decatur, said his involvement made him realize that helping others doesn’t stop with his attendance at Decatur and participation in We Day.
“We’re going to college,” he said, referencing himself and Caleb Dawson, another student leader integral in spreading awareness about We Day. “But that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to take what we’ve learned and impact people no matter where we go.”
Kim, a senior at Todd Beamer High School, said the speakers at We Day, and the stories they told, were very rewarding to her.
“(To hear them talking) about all the roadblocks ... all the challenges, all the obstacles that were in their way, but they overcame all of them to become the people they wanted to be,” Kim said. “In doing this, they inspired so many others. Some of my classmates ... went to the event, came back totally inspired, going ‘I’m going to totally get involved with this for the rest of my high school career.’”
Brown, a student at Sacajawea Middle School, said We Day was a double dip of an experience for her.
“It was inspiring and very dramatic for me because it was my first concert. I’ve never been to a concert before,” she said. “It was really fun…to just see all these speakers who are impacting us and teaching us that just because we’re kids, it doesn’t mean we can’t change the world.”