ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — For the fourth year in a row, WE Day landed in Minnesota. Teenagers from all over the state filled Xcel Energy Center to get excited about making the world a better place.
Students couldn’t buy their way into the star-studded event that’s held in four different countries. They had to earn their tickets by spending hours volunteering in their towns.
Autumn Bloomer was there. She goes to Sartell Middle School.
“One of our projects is Piece of Hope, so we created fleece blankets, we decorated silly socks to St. Jude’s hospital,” Bloomer said.
Azzaha goes to Sartell Middle School.
“We go volunteer at preschools like McKinley and stuff, babysitting at our school after school. There’s just a whole bunch of stuff that we do,” Azzahah said.
And they were honored for that stuff, praised and prompted, by a football player who uses a wheelchair, a boxer who wears a hijab and a woman who has survived the worst of cyber bullying, Lizzie Velasquez, a global motivational speaker.
“Because of that experience, because of the world’s ugliest woman video, I can stand in front of you right now and tell you if you feel like you are living under a rain cloud, if you feel like every day it’s going to storm, I want to be your umbrella and stand next to you,” Velasquez said.
Students reacted strongly to the message. Masbal Noor goes to Fairbault Middle School.
“It was really personal to me because I got bullied on the bus one time and it happened to me repeatedly,” Noor said.
Mady Bertsch goes to Sartell Middle School.
“I felt like that really touched me because I have an aunt who has special needs and I feel like that kind of, I can relate to that,” Bertsch said.
And that was the point of this day hosted by Nickelodeon’s JoJo Siwa and journalist Ann Curry amongst many.
Javantae Richardson attends Johnson High School.
“I like it, it’s fun, we see celebrities all type of stuff,” he said.
His friend, Isreyon Ingram, is a student at Como High School.
“I like the experience of being here, the vibe that people are giving out,” he said.
A vibe that is soon to multiply.
From actress Lizzie Greene to Olympic Gymnast Laurie Hernandez to Justin Tredeau’s mother, it was quite a line up.