I knew my son was a different kind of kid when he turned to me on a camping trip 2 summers ago and said “Daddy, is it okay if I go and play hide and seek with nature?”

Zacharie has a huge heart. He loves animals, he loves to give back, and empathy is the character trait that defines him. It’s not anything I sought out to empower my son with, he just comes about it naturally.

And I couldn’t be more proud.

He’s used birthday money to raise funds to help a Bird of Prey Rescue Centre.

Alberta Birds Of Prey Centre

He’s worked days on a truck to raise money for the Canadian Diabetes Association.

team diabetes zacharie charlie

Now I have him running as a member of Team Diabetes flashing the colours, spreading the message, and hopefully inspiring him to keep giving back.

team diabetes zacharie

These are the kinds of things that one day, I hope, will earn Zacharie an invite to WE Day.

Alberta’s WE Day, sponsored by TELUS,  is October 26 and will feature appearances from Chris Hadfield, Rick Hansen, and Paula Abdul. It’s a big, day long celebration for kids who are leaders in their community. It’s about rewarding their inspiring behaviour and giving them the tools to go back into the community and keep up the trend.

we-day

Students can’t buy a ticket to WE Day — they earn it by taking one local and one global action through a program that engages, educates and empowers young people to become compassionate leaders and active citizens.

This year the theme of WE Day is to help kids #RiseAbove cyberbullying. With a son who is very proud to announced “I’m a tween, dad,” when I call him a “kid,” the topic of bullying and online behaviour is a frequent topic of conversation.

Zacharie’s school talks about digital citizenship often, and even has the kids sign a behavioural contract at the start of each year to help the message sink in. You can download a copy of that contract here, it’s a great conversation starter to have your kids (or tweens).

The TELUS WISE resource area has sections on helping your children navigate the web, helping them with critical skills to think before they click, as well as some tips on raising the issues of cyberbullying with your kids and how to talk to them about it.

TELUS believes it is part of their responsibility to ensure the digital space is a safe place and want to help put an end to cyberbullying.

Raising empathetic leaders is just one more step down that path.

This post is sponsored by TELUS

Rise AboveFor the fifth consecutive year, TELUS is proud to help inspire young leaders and support positive social change as the national co-title partner of WE Day. TELUS and Free The Children have a shared vision – together, they want to help engage and empower youth to harness their innovative ideas, make positive change and become community leaders, both locally and globally.

The partnership goes back to 2007. Since then, TELUS has contributed $17 million dollars of support to WE (formerly Free The Children) in Canada and around the world.

TELUS’ WE Day sponsorship allows tens of thousands of students across Canada to attend WE Day for free creating an engaged community of young people. Youth earn their way to WE Day by doing at least one act of good in their community and one act of good globally.

 

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