The wait is over – today is We Day! We’re at Key Arena in Seattle, joined by 15,000 young people from nearly 400 middle and high schools around the region who all earned their place in the stadium by serving their communities and working together to make the world a better place.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will be on the main stage this morning to share his thoughts on the unique opportunity that young people have to change the world. Since we launched Microsoft YouthSpark in September 2012 we’ve been focused on enabling young people to discover opportunities for education, entrepreneurship, and employment. We Day’s focus on inspiring the next generation fits well with our aspirations for Microsoft YouthSpark.
Throughout the day performers and speakers including musical artists Jennifer Hudson, Nelly Furtado, and MC Hammer; actors and activists Martin Sheen and Mia Farrow and a number of athletes, including Magic Johnson, Gary Payton, and Seattle Seahawks Coach Peter Carroll will share incredible stories and experiences with attendees.
If that wasn’t enough, earlier today two surprise guests were announced; chart-topping local musical artist Macklemore and a special Skype visit from singer, actress and Free The Children ambassador Demi Lovato.
It’s shaping up to be a memorable day.
For those of you who can’t be here in person, we have a few ways to help you feel like you’re still part of the action. You can read more about We Day here, see pictures from the event and you can also stream the live webcast courtesy of Free The Children and Q13 Fox. And, of course, you can follow us on Twitter @msftcitizenship and #Youthspark.
Meet Our YouthSpark Reporters
Meet Gabrielle, Delaney, and Keilon, our YouthSpark reporters for We Day. With Windows Phone 8 devices and Surface tablets in hand, they’ll post their experiences through tweets and blog posts, sharing photos, videos and inspirational thoughts from their friends and fellow social activists throughout the day.
| Name: Gabrielle, high school senior
Earned an Invitation to We Day By: Volunteering with Kayla Ortiz and her organization Kayla’s Corner to start book drives in the Seattle area in hopes of building a library in Uganda. This organization is starting locally but the mission is to take Kayla’s Corner global.
Most Excited to See: Jennifer Hudson
Leadership & Community Service Highlights: Secretary for Washington State chapter of Future Business Leaders of America; President of Seattle chapter teens for Jack & Jill of America, Inc.; Microsoft DigiGirlz participant; job shadow at Seattle Storm; summer internship at D.C.-based Bread for the World
Hobbies & Skills: Plays the flute
Career Ambition: Lawyer focused on family law and women’s rights
|Name: Delaney, high school junior
Earned an Invitation to We Day By: Participating in a canned food drive with 300 of her classmates. They collected more than 10,000 pounds of canned food!
Most Excited to See: Jennifer Hudson and Martin Sheen
Leadership & Community Service Highlights: Selected for People to People Student Ambassador Organization; President of the Photo Club and Journalism Club, and Vice President of Book Club; winner of National American Visions Award
Hobbies & Skills: Photojournalism, creative photography
Career Ambition: NBC journalist focused on writing, reporting, and photographing the world’s issues ranging from poverty and economic crises to wars and genocide
|Name: Keilon, high school senior
Earned an Invitation to We Day By: His leadership and community activism such as teaching science to 6th graders
Most Excited to See: Jennifer Hudson
Leadership & Community Service Highlights: Student radio producer for KUOW 94.9 FM; Student representative at Washington State School Directors Association conference; Supervisor and Naturalist for his school’s Environmental Education program teaching nearly 500 5th and 6th graders to love science and nature
Hobbies & Skills: Science, everything from biology to zoology to astronomy; plays piano, clarinet and violin; passionate about raising awareness for child homelessness
Career Ambition: Teach astronomy or be a zoologist
All the YouthSpark Reporters at the dress rehearsal yesterday at Key Arena.