MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We’re just three weeks away from the second annual “We Day” concert at the Xcel Energy Center.

It’s a reward for teenagers who spend time doing volunteer work in the community. Tickets aren’t for sale — you have to earn them through work on a community service project.

Carly Rae Jepsen and the Jonas Brothers performed at Minnesota’s first We Day last year.

Students at Orono Middle School got a chance to help choose the service project in which their entire sixth grade class will participate. The gym was set up Wednesday for a service fair, which looked a lot like a career fair.

Jennifer Lubke is one of the teachers who organized the event.

“We wanted to expose our kids to a variety of community partners so they could have a chance to investigate who they can potentially work with,” Lubke said.
“This kind of venue would show our students there are many different agencies they could partner with and give them an idea of what’s out there.”

The kids stopped by tables and asked about volunteer opportunities. Three Rivers Park District sparked a lot of interest.

“There’s always one or two pieces of trash like every minute or two and I want to go and help that,” said sixth grader Morgan Cole.

The Orono School District has seen how community service builds character. Kristine Flesher oversees programs that help do just that.

“We have studied what we think students need to have happy and successful lives. We think it’s scholarship, relationships, skills and character,” Flesher said. “It’s about knowing how to make good choices in the world.”

Sixth grader Audrey Anderson is new to the school.

“My old school didn’t really do anything like this, and i just feel like it’s really great that people are like helping other people,” Anderson said.

The group Helping Paws demonstrated the training they do with service dogs and shared how they need help. Student Spencer Lewin says this was his favorite group of the day.

“It’s a nice thing because some people don’t want to be forced to do something they don’t like,” Lewin said. “They’re giving you a choice and I thought it was awesome.”

The sixth graders will vote on one project to work on during the school year.

We Day is Wednesday, Nov. 12. This year’s line-up at the X includes The Band Perry and Magic Johnson.

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