On Thursday May 2, 2019, 5,000 Upper Grand District School Board students packed the Sleeman Centre in Guelph, Ontario, for the 5th annual Empowerment Day. The event was created in 2015 by students and is supported by Optimist Clubs of the UGDSB area. One of the goals of the event is for students to take the messages they hear back to their school and community.
The theme for this year’s event was I CAN. I WILL. WATCH ME. Empowerment Day’s special guests had a number of messages to add, focusing on the importance of being kind, of persevering in the face of challenges, of following your dreams and forging your own path. This year’s guests included Olympic gold medalist hockey star Hayley Wickenheiser, wheelchair basketball star and Fergus native Patrick Anderson, teenage anti-bullying app developer Trisha Prabhu and Cambridge musician Stacey Kay.
The Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation was even part of the event as Secretary-Treasurer and Canadian Services Centre Director Jacques Pelland went on stage to talk about our Foundation and Optimism.
Congratulations to the participating Optimist Clubs: they really brought the best in youth!