November 23, 2011                                                                                           

Juniors Make a Difference, STAT! 

Students have a very powerful role to play in making their schools and communities better places to live and learn. On Wednesday, November 30, DSBN students in Grades 4-6 will be developing their leadership potential at the STAT (Students Taking Action Today) conference in Welland. The event will feature two guest speakers who will inspire and encourage students with their personal stories of perseverance and commitment to improving the lives of others.  

Thirteen year old Wesley Prankard is a student at Prince Philip Public School in Niagara Falls. After learning about the conditions many Aboriginal youth face in northern Ontario, Wesley decided to take action. With the help of his father, Wesley camped outdoors during March break to raise funds to support the purchase of a playground for a community in Attawapiskat. Although the playground was expected to cost nearly $100,000, Wesley continued raising money undaunted. Thanks to his efforts, the children in Attawapiskat now have a playground to call their own. Wesley has also established an organization to establish playgrounds in other northern communities (

The STAT conference will also feature a special address by Me to We speaker Spencer West. At a young age, Spencer lost his legs, but not his sense of courage, perseverance or optimism. His biography states that he “speaks about overcoming stereotyping and bullying, about finding meaning and happiness in a material world and how he never lost the hope or courage needed to mount personal obstacles. Infused with humour and humility, his thought-provoking message inspires people to find opportunity in every challenge.”

The Junior STAT conference follows October’s similarly themed events for Intermediate and Secondary school students. Students attending the October STAT conference heard from MTV Life Coach Jeff Yalden.

Event Details: 

Date: Wednesday, November 30

Time: 9:30 a.m.

Location: Welland Centennial Secondary, 240 Thorold Road West