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Smiths Falls Students Receive Positive Message from Presentation

Live1

By Amy Hogue

“Courage to Connect – Life is About People” was the message delivered by the Live Different organization at a presentation for more than 600 young people at the Smiths Falls & District Collegiate Institute (SFDCI) on Wednesday, Oct. 29. SFDCI hosted grade sevens and eights from five elementary schools – Chimo, Lombardy, Wolford, Duncan J. Schoular and Montague and grades nine and ten from SFDCI and TR Leger for the performance.

Live Different is an organization promoting the embrace of a lifestyle of caring for people. According to their website, they offer advice to young people to help make different choices in their day-to-day life such as becoming active in social issues and causes, and showing kindness towards others and living simply. They offer a live, concert-style motivational assembly to inspire students to make a positive difference in the world.

TR Leger Child and Youth Worker, Melanie Fielding, began organizing the SFDCI event in May 2014 after seeing firsthand a presentation by Live Different.

“They give a different message every year; last year’s was about kindness,” Fielding said. “It was phenomenal.”

Fielding explained as someone who works with youth she sees how there is a prevailing negativity and she wanted to help young people see “messages of hope in meaningful, caring ways.”

And a message of hope is something Life Different delivers in abundance. Their performance on Oct. 29, which was repeated twice throughout the day, was an hour long presentation featuring live music, interactive discussions and video messages for students. The featured band, Scenic Sound, had students rocking in their seats to the catchy music as they performed.

Among the topics brought forward for contemplation during the presentation was discussion about disconnecting from social media and cell phones and taking time to explore relationships instead, referring to the theme of Courage to Connect. Students watched several presenters discuss sensitive issues from their own youth and shared experiences that young people could relate to such as financial issues in their family or stress related to academic performance.

One of the presenters, Jamie Lobban, discussed the issues he had as a teen in making friends. Lobban told Smiths Falls students that “happiness isn’t defined by the number of friends you have, it’s defined by the quality of relationships in our lives,” stressing that someone’s value isn’t tied to what other people think of them.

Lobban outlined some things students can do to change their lives and create more meaningful relationships, such as having real conversations, getting to know the people around you, challenging yourself to really care about people and discovering the “Courage to Connect.”

Duncan J. Schoular grade eight students, Haley Murphy and Krissy Draper, were among those present for the event, and both agreed that it was a thought-provoking presentation.

“It was very inspiring…they tell you how to turn off your phone and actually communicate,” Murphy said.

Draper explained she could relate to what was being presented and see similar situations in her own life and said she felt inspired to “just talk more and open up more.”

In addition to in-school performances, Live Different offers programs for students giving them the opportunity to travel in Mexico, Dominican Republic, Thailand or Haiti to help build schools, houses and children’s homes.

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Smiths Falls Students Receive Positive Message from Presentation

Live1

By Amy Hogue

“Courage to Connect – Life is About People” was the message delivered by the Live Different organization at a presentation for more than 600 young people at the Smiths Falls & District Collegiate Institute (SFDCI) on Wednesday, Oct. 29. SFDCI hosted grade sevens and eights from five elementary schools – Chimo, Lombardy, Wolford, Duncan J. Schoular and Montague and grades nine and ten from SFDCI and TR Leger for the performance.

Live Different is an organization promoting the embrace of a lifestyle of caring for people. According to their website, they offer advice to young people to help make different choices in their day-to-day life such as becoming active in social issues and causes, and showing kindness towards others and living simply. They offer a live, concert-style motivational assembly to inspire students to make a positive difference in the world.

TR Leger Child and Youth Worker, Melanie Fielding, began organizing the SFDCI event in May 2014 after seeing firsthand a presentation by Live Different.

“They give a different message every year; last year’s was about kindness,” Fielding said. “It was phenomenal.”

Fielding explained as someone who works with youth she sees how there is a prevailing negativity and she wanted to help young people see “messages of hope in meaningful, caring ways.”

And a message of hope is something Life Different delivers in abundance. Their performance on Oct. 29, which was repeated twice throughout the day, was an hour long presentation featuring live music, interactive discussions and video messages for students. The featured band, Scenic Sound, had students rocking in their seats to the catchy music as they performed.

Among the topics brought forward for contemplation during the presentation was discussion about disconnecting from social media and cell phones and taking time to explore relationships instead, referring to the theme of Courage to Connect. Students watched several presenters discuss sensitive issues from their own youth and shared experiences that young people could relate to such as financial issues in their family or stress related to academic performance.

One of the presenters, Jamie Lobban, discussed the issues he had as a teen in making friends. Lobban told Smiths Falls students that “happiness isn’t defined by the number of friends you have, it’s defined by the quality of relationships in our lives,” stressing that someone’s value isn’t tied to what other people think of them.

Lobban outlined some things students can do to change their lives and create more meaningful relationships, such as having real conversations, getting to know the people around you, challenging yourself to really care about people and discovering the “Courage to Connect.”

Duncan J. Schoular grade eight students, Haley Murphy and Krissy Draper, were among those present for the event, and both agreed that it was a thought-provoking presentation.

“It was very inspiring…they tell you how to turn off your phone and actually communicate,” Murphy said.

Draper explained she could relate to what was being presented and see similar situations in her own life and said she felt inspired to “just talk more and open up more.”

In addition to in-school performances, Live Different offers programs for students giving them the opportunity to travel in Mexico, Dominican Republic, Thailand or Haiti to help build schools, houses and children’s homes.

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