I had always heard about We Day and had seen it on TV and I always thought: “I wish they had something like this in Calgary.” Finally Free the Children & Me to We announced the first ever We Day Alberta would be on October 24, 2012. One day, I believe a friend told me, I heard about the contest TELUS was holding called “Earn Your Way to We Day.” My friends and family encouraged me to enter the contest with my local act of change. In the summer of 2012, I shaved off all of my hair and donated 14 inches to make wigs for cancer patients in the support of my best friend who had been diagnosed with cancer. Along with the donation of my hair, I made a contribution of $3000 to the Alberta Children’s Hospital, which I had raised with the help of friends and family. I entered the TELUS “Earn Your Way to We Day” contest and when I found out I would be a part of the TELUS Crew at We Day Alberta, I was overcome with excitement!
Finally We Day arrived and when I got to the Saddledome I met up with two other winners who were also be a part of the TELUS Crew, and it was really awesome to hear their stories and how they earned their way to We Day. The show and the speakers were so incredible and one that really stood out to me was a twelve year old girl named Sydney who had the incredible dream of being Prime Minister and it made me hopeful that future generations would continue to change the world and dream big, just like Sydney. The vibe that the We Day crowd had was so uplifting and empowering and being in a room with 18,000 like-minded youth let me know that I am not alone and that we are literally surrounded by support.
Being a TELUS Crew member also gave us the opportunity to meet some performers and speakers as well as go backstage! For myself, I really wanted to meet Robin Wiszowaty and Jessi Cruickshank and I was overwhelmed with happiness when meeting these two amazing women became a reality. I was so nervous to talk to them and ended up crying out of happiness when I met Jessi, but I had amazing conversations with each of them and they both gave me determination to follow my dreams. I will always remember these moments as a highlight of my day as a TELUS Crew Member at We Day. Along with meeting Jessi and Robin we met Craig Kielburger, Lights, Shawn Desman, and Wilson and Jackson (two Masai Warriors from Kenya!). Being a TELUS Crew member at We Day Alberta gave me the most incredible opportunities. In fact, Since We Day, I achieved one of my biggest dreams since I was a kid, which was go to Kenya! I went on a Me to We Trip to Kenya just this past summer. We Day was not only an unforgettable day, but it also gave me the motivation to achieve my dream!
My best advice for this year’s TELUS Crew members – make sure you take advantage of every opportunity you have on We Day. The day goes by so quickly and before you know it, it will be over, so really take the time to just be in the moment. I know it can be nerve-racking meeting people you look up to, but take that chance to tell them how much you admire them and get to meet them in a more personal way. Also make sure you take as many pictures as you can and post updates on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. to let others know how We Day impacted you and so that you can look back at the amazing experiences you had that day. Finally, one very important thing to remember is BE THE CHANGE!
Thank you TELUS, Free the Children, Me to We, and We Day for this incredible experience, it empowered me to achieve my dreams and to be the change I wish to see in this world.
Erin Gallon is a 16 year-old student from Calgary, Alberta and part of the TELUS Crew at We Day Alberta on October 24, 2012. Erin earned her way to WE Day and a spot on the TELUS Crew by sharing her story of how she shaved off her hair and donated 14 inches of it to Locks of Love along with $3000 to the Alberta Children`s Hospital to honour her friend who was diagnosed with cancer.