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Student Leaders Fired Up As We Day Is Just Two Weeks Away

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(credit: CBS) Angela Davis
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – We have been talking about Minnesota’s first We Day for months, and now it’s just two weeks away.

Students across the state have spent the past year doing service projects to earn a ticket to We Day, which is a day-long event featuring popular musical acts and inspirational speakers. We Day comes to the Xcel Energy Center on Oct. 8.

On Tuesday, I talked to student leaders who represent the seven high schools in the Minneapolis School District. They are part of what’s called City Wide Student Government.

Once a month, they meet at school district headquarters. On Tuesday’s agenda was We Day.

Schools across Minnesota have shown students the We Day video of past concerts. Now, excitement is building.

“From watching the video, every single time I watch it — even more than like five times — honestly, I still get inspired,” said Sandi Lee, of North High School.

The students say volunteer work is empowering.

“We are the future,” said Shahmar Dennis, a student at Roosevelt High School. “If we only care about ourselves, we are not going to make the future a better place. If we start caring about each other, the community, the future is ours, basically.”

By committing to a global project, like packing meals that are sent overseas, students learn how easy it is to have a big impact.

“The local cause makes students step back and think ‘Hey, there are things in my community and these are things that I can work on and solve,’” said Austin Johnson, a student at Washburn High School.

The musical performers at the X include Carly Rae Jepsen, Demi Lovato, and Bridgit Mendler. And yes, the Jonas Brothers are still coming.

“We Day is not just all about having singers and performances,” said Nivea Vang, a Patrick Henry High School student. “It’s also talking about things like how you can improve yourself, your community, your school, anything.”

The service projects will likely give more students access to volunteer work they’ve always been interested in.

“A lot of times, it is not organized, and it is a lot harder than it needs to be,” said Amirah Ellison, a student at South High School and the president of the City Wide Student Government Group. “Having that structure is good so that all you have to focus on is helping other people.”

We Day is new to the United States, but the organizers have been doing it for years in Canada. Seattle was the first U.S. city to take part.

The Twin Cities will be the second metro area. Other performers and speakers include Minneapolis rapper and singer Dessa, Martin Luther King III, and Barbara Pierce Bush, who is the daughter of former president George W. Bush, Gov. Mark Dayton and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.

WCCO.com will stream the event.

If your child’s school is not signed up, they can still register to take part next year.

For more on We Day, click here.

For the full list of performers, click here.

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