Media release - Who's ready to start changing the world? We are!

    Leading social issues speakers, performers and entertainers come together
    to kick off a year of action to create global change

    TORONTO, Sept. 30 /CNW/ - On October, 17, 8,000 student leaders from more
than 600 schools will pack Toronto's Ricoh Coliseum for Free The Children's
second annual National Me to We Day. This is the largest one-day event of its
kind that brings together top social issues speakers and entertainers to
empower, engage and inspire youth to become active global citizens.
    "This event is more than a one-day affair, this is the beginning of a
year-long initiative challenging youth to take action and create global
change," said Craig Kielburger, founder of Free The Children. "We want
Canadian youth to take an active role in finding solutions to global
challenges and really change our world, for the better."
    Mia Farrow, Justin Trudeau, Nate Berkus, cast members from Degrassi: The
Next Generation, Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger (founders of Free The
Children) and more will address and inspire the crowd while Sarah McLachlan,
Crash Parallel, Louise Kent, Canadian Idol winner Theo Tams and more keep them
entertained. eTalk's Tanya Kim and Ben Mulroney will host the event while
thousands of students from Vancouver to Halifax will tune in to watch the
event live at
    Last year, youth who participated in the inaugural National Me to We Day
event, helped to build 50 schools, 10 clean water systems and 200 alternative
income projects, improving the lives of more than 23,000 people in developing
countries around the world. This year, the goal is even bigger. In the months
following the event, students will participate in a 100-School Challenge
through Free the Children's Adopt a Village program. They will be raising
awareness and funds to help empower families and communities in developing
countries to break the cycle of poverty through education opportunities, clean
water wells, health care and alternative income programs. The goal is to build
100 schools in Kenya, Ecuador, Sierra Leone, India, Sri Lanka and rural China.
    In preparation for this year's event and in anticipation of the launch of
Free The Children's year-long initiative - the 100-School Challenge - more
than 500 educators and 1,000 student leaders participated in pre-event
workshops and training sessions to learn how to bring social issues to the
forefront in the classroom. Educators attended mentorship sessions while youth
learned about social issues education and how to take a leadership role in
school. All schools attending National Me to We Day have committed to taking
one local and one international action after the event. These sessions gave
them tools to do this successfully.
    "This is our year to say it's our world and we have the power to change
it!" said Kielburger.
    National Me to We Day begins at 9:30 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. at the
Ricoh Coliseum, 100 Princes' Blvd., Toronto. The event is made possible at no
cost to students and schools through the sponsorship and support of numerous
companies and organizations. National Bank Financial is the title sponsor of
the event.
    To inquire about pre-event interview opportunities, please contact
Melissa Yaw at
    For more information about National Me to We Day, please visit

    About Free The Children

    Free The Children is the world's largest network of children helping
children through education, with more than one million youth involved in
innovative education and development programs in 45 countries. Founded in 1995
by international child rights activist Craig Kielburger, Free The Children has
a proven track record of success. Through the energy and passion of youth,
Free The Children has built more than 500 schools around the world, providing
education for 50,000 children every day. The organization has received the
World's Children's Prize for the Rights of the Child (also known as the
Children's Nobel Prize), the Human Rights Award from the World Association of
Non-Governmental Organizations, and has formed successful partnerships with
leading school boards and Oprah's Angel Network. For more information please

For further information:

For further information: For more information about National Me to We
Day or to attend the event, please visit or
contact: Melissa Yaw, Communications Coordinator, Free The Children, T: (647)

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