Local teen Morgan Leung has attended the annual We Day events in Vancouver to take in the message of empowerment and effecting change, but this year she was part of bringing that message to youths from across the Lower Mainland.
Leung, 16, of Ladner was one of many speakers and performers that took to the stage at Rogers Arena during the event last Thursday. The Grade 11 student at Southpointe Academy spoke about her work in the community to try and help end local hunger through her Bracelets for Baby Food project.
Leung came up with the idea last year after an experience at Take Action Academy, a social-justice themed weeklong summer camp designed to give teens leadership skills.
While discussing food banks and local hunger, campers were given only a cup of rice and water for dinner one night. Still hungry after the meager meal, Leung said she had a realization.
"I realized that there were children out there who feel that way after every meal."
Leung decided she wanted to raise money to donate jars of baby food to the South Delta Food Bank and started making and selling friendship bracelets.
She sold the woven beaded bracelets for $1 and used the money raised to buys hundreds of jars of baby food.
One of the messages Leung took to We Day was that youths should try to change the world and have fun at the same time.
Leung was among some esteemed company on the stage at Rogers Arena. Speakers at this year's event included Archbishop Desmond Tutu, basketball legend Magic Johnson and Justice Sinclair, chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Manitoba's first aboriginal judge.
The event also included entertainment with singer/songwriter, and X Factor judge, Demi Lovato, One Republic and My name is Kay.
Leung said she was extremely nervous before taking the stage where Annie Clark and Luke Bilyk, who star on Degrassi, interviewed her, but once she was on stage she said it was a huge relief.
She said some people from the crowd yelled, "We love you Morgan."
"I had a huge smile on my face."
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