6,000 Peel board students unite to stamp out global poverty

    
    Craig Kielburger, Jessica Jackley and Liam Titcomb among presenters at
    Leadership Now! 2009
    

TORONTO, Oct. 23 /CNW/ - If 6,000 students shout loud enough, will their voices be heard around the world? Peel District School Board students will find out on Oct. 27 and 28 when they come together for Leadership Now! at the Powerade Centre in Brampton, Ont. The event features inspirational speakers, musicians and interactive games-all designed to motivate youth to speak up and take action for the change they want to see in the world.

"The Peel board believes strongly in helping our students develop a global mindset," says Janet McDougald, chair of the Peel board. "Leadership Now! teaches students about global issues while providing practical ways youth can make a difference right now. It's a high-energy day designed for students with the hope they will leave feeling inspired and motivated to use their skills and passion to promote positive change."

    
    The Oct. 27 event is for middle school students and secondary students
will attend the event on Oct. 28. Both days follow a similar program that
includes keynote presentations from the following young activists:

    -  Craig Kielburger, age 26, co-founder, Free The Children
    -  Michel Chikwanine, age 21, former child soldier
    -  Jessica Jackley, age 32, co-founder of the micro-credit
        organization Kiva

    Students will also hear from 22-year-old Canadian singer/songwriter Liam
Titcomb, who recently raised $50,000 for War Child Canada by busking across
the country. Titcomb will play some of his songs and talk about how he has
used his gift for music to raise awareness for an issue he cares passionately
about.

    In addition to speakers, the event will include:
    -  display booths from non-profit and community partners
    -  emcees from Absolute Leadership
    -  live music from Rides Again
    

"I'm incredibly excited to participate in the Peel board's Leadership Now! program," says Kielburger. "The program is perfectly aligned with Free The Children's youth empowerment model for social change, a spirit which thrives in Peel."

Jackley is the co-founder of Kiva, an organization that allows people to lend money online to microfinance institutions in developing countries around the world and in the United States, which in turn lend money to small businesses. "I'm thrilled to be a part of this incredible event," says Jackley. "I believe every person-especially young people-have the potential to reinvent how we empower each other and create a better world."

Notes Titcomb, "I believe we can all do something to make a difference. You don't need to be a celebrity. You don't need to be wealthy. You just have to take action."

Leadership Now! has been planned to be as environmentally-friendly as possible. Tickets were not handed out and all promotion was done electronically. Students will bring litter-free lunches and reusable water bottles which can be filled with local tap water at one of the many water stations that are being supplied by the Region of Peel. The Region of Peel will also be supplying green bins for organic waste.

The conference is part of the Peel board's Student Leadership for Global Development program which is produced with the support of the Government of Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

Notes McDougald, "We're very thankful to the Canadian International Development Agency for helping to enhance global education in the Peel board. Through CIDA's Global Classroom Initiative, we've been able to provide our students and teachers with these programs for the past seven years."

The Powerade Centre is located at 7575 Kennedy Rd. S. in Brampton. The doors open at 9:30 a.m., and the event begins at 10:15 a.m.

For more information please visit www.peelschool.org/slgd or the Student Leadership for Global Development Facebook page.

    
    Media contact:  Janet McDougald, chair of the board, Peel District School
                    Board, 905-278-1402
                    Sylvia Link, Manager of Communications and Strategic
                    Partnership Support Services, 905-890-1010, ext. 2814

                    For Craig Kielburger or Michel Chikwanine contact
                    Leysa Cerswell at leysa@freethechildren.com.

                    For Liam Titcomb, contact Cheryl Russell,
                    cheryl@liamtitcomb.com, 647 202 7486 cell,
                    416 534 5199 office.

    Reference:      Scott LaMantia, Communications Project Co-ordintator,
                    905-890-1010 (1-800-668-1146), ext. 2817,
                    scott.lamantia@peelsb.com

    Note to media:  Visit peelschools.org for the detailed event agenda for
                    each day.
                    Media attending the event should enter through the
                    Founders entrance and check in at the registration table.
                    Craig Kielburger will be available for interviews on
                    Oct. 27 from 9:30 to 10 a.m.
                    Jessica Jackley will be available for interviews on both
                    days from 1:30 to 2 p.m.
    

SOURCE Peel District School Board

For further information: For further information: Media contact: Janet McDougald, chair of the board, Peel District School Board, (905) 278-1402; Sylvia Link, Manager of Communications and Strategic Partnership Support Services, (905) 890-1010, ext. 2814; For Craig Kielburger or Michel Chikwanine contact Leysa Cerswell at leysa@freethechildren.com; For Liam Titcomb, contact Cheryl Russell, cheryl@liamtitcomb.com, (647) 202-7486 cell, (416) 534-5199 office

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