ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Amazing, inspirational and life-changing. Those are just a few of the words being used to describe the first We Day Minnesota.

Carly Rae Jepson capped off a fantastic event Tuesday with 18,000 students and teachers at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center. The kids earned their way to We Day by planning one global and one local service project.

As excited as the students were about the musical performances, they really seemed to connect with the message of the speakers. It was a consistent message of the value and power of helping someone else, and not being so focused on self.

During the lunch break, I had a chance to talk to some of the students about their favorite moments.

From the start, the students knew this was no ordinary field trip.

The first speaker was the son of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King.

“That was really awesome seeing him,” said Mohamed Mahamud of Washburn High School. “[It gave] me motivation to do more.”

Some said actress Mia Farrow left the biggest impression. Her message?

“That fame and fortune can’t bring you happiness all the time, and giving back can really inspire,” said Conrad Vandilk, of Minnetonka High School.

The action was almost non-stop during the high-tech show. The students stayed attentive, often on their feet to dance or cheer.

“It’s amazing, I love it,” said Brooke Cabinski of St. Cloud Apollo High School. “Listening to speakers and understanding what they went through, what they did to change the world, to help us know what we can do.”

Some said they think We Day will make it easier for them to get their friends involved in volunteer work.

As they streamed out of the X to head home, many students said they are working on community service projects right now, or they are planning some in the months to come. Projects such as: mentoring younger kids, raising money to help build schools in Africa and helping to provide clean water in villages.

And very soon, many of them will be collecting canned food instead of candy when they trick-or-treat on Halloween night.

We Day Resources:

Photo Galleries: We Day — The Show, The Red Carpet

Video Highlights: Part 1, Part 2


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