College Students Turning Me to We for Community Transformation
Sixth Form students from Milton Keynes College attended a very special event on Thursday 16th November aimed at promoting the global WE movement, an organisation that brings people together and empowers them to change the world.
By way of a series of performances, presentations and discussions led by students and tutors from the College, students were inspired and motivated to think about how they could join together and improve their community with the eventual aim of transforming society.
WE Day started over 20 years with two brothers, Craig and Marc Kielburger, who aimed to work with developing communities to free children and their families from poverty and exploitation.
At the heart of their vision was the goal of empowering young people, connecting them with global issues and social causes, and inspiring change makers from within the classroom.
By encouraging individuals to think of ‘We’ rather than ‘Me’, they created an innovative social enterprise with an annual event designed to celebrate young people making a difference in their local and global communities: WE Day.
The event held at MK College’s Bletchley campus saw some of the College’s own change-makers describing what they do to inspire change and improve their own communities. Speakers included Marley, a GCSE student who flies high as a trainee pilot, and Bethany, an A Level student who described how she has overcome a stroke to learn how to drive and return to study, giving her own life genuine purpose.
Speaking to the students after a number of musical performances, MK College Principal and CEO Dr Julie Mills was keen to underline the strength within individuals when working together. She said: “Today has been all about two things: it’s been about inspiring you to think about how you can make a difference to your community; and about people giving you the self-belief to know that you can make a difference.
“As an individual you can make a difference but by coming together you can really start to transform lives, transform our community and create a better world. I do hope that you feel inspired and take the opportunity to work together this year to do your bit to make such a difference.
“Milton Keynes is an amazing community; it’s been founded by pioneers who came here 50 years ago next year and everyone who came and settled here wanted to build a different type of a community.
“A community that would be safe for everyone and allow everyone to succeed and each of us in this room is now part of this brilliant community.
“We’ve still got things to sort out but everything is as we want it to be and you’ve got the opportunity this year to work together and transform Milton Keynes to make it an even better place to live and work.”
In closing her speech to the students, Julie quoted inspirational author JK Rowling from her own acceptance speech on receiving an honorary doctorate from Harvard University: “what she said, I think, was really powerful, particularly today as we are signing up to the WE organisation, to think about the power of We.
She said when she was accepting her award: ‘We don’t need magic to change the world; we have all the power within us already; we have the power to imagine better.’”