Helping others theme of K-Day

WARREN – Inspiring students to help make changes in the world was the theme of the annual K-Day held Friday at John F. Kennedy High School, which included various guest speakers and classroom activities.

Students in grades sixth to 12 met for the all-day event, which included hearing from Change Heroes founder Taylor Conroy of Canada, who works at raising funds to construct schools in developing countries.

Brian Sinchak, president at JFK, said the day is a leadership retreat for students and staff focusing on global issues.

A highlight of the event was the announcement of a $10,000 donation from Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Niles to JFK that will be used to help build a school in Kenya.

Work on the new school will begin this summer and some JFK students will visit the school in two years. Students had been in Kenya in 2013.

The money was raised by Mount Carmel through private donations and many fundraisers last year.

Sinchak said it is important for students to stay engaged locally, nationally and internationally.

Students learned about water from a water walk held last fall. Some students took a trip to Africa where they saw people carrying water on their shoulders and backs for miles. JFK has committed to helping people have access to clean water.

Conroy, an inspirational speaker, spoke on how people can make a massive impact in a short amount of time – often using technology.

Conroy said 33 people donating $3.33 per day for three months can raise $10,000 to build a school that will educate thousands of children.

“I tell students you are not our world’s future leaders, but you are the world’s leaders right now,” he said.

Conroy sold his real estate business to start Change Heroes, which has raised more than $1 million to help fund more than 100 projects, such as building schools, churches and libraries in 12 developing countries.

Traveling throughout the world to share his message, Conroy visited Kenya and said he was disturbed to find children with AIDS and girls as young as 11 and 12 having babies.

He said he wanted to help educate the children and began by raising money to build schools.

“Nothing in my life has made me feel better than raising money to build a school in Kenya,” Conroy said, noting each school constructed means 1,000 children are getting educated.

He said he went to Africa to find fulfillment and felt meeting the children was the best part of being in the villages.

”When I saw what the children needed, it was a bigger problem than I realized,” Conroy said.

Christopher Milo, a musician, performed at the event sharing how people can learn from mistakes and instructing on the importance of being nice to one another.

“If you do not have something nice to say, don’t say it at all. What you don’t know is someone’s life may be on the line by what is said,” Milo said referring to hurtful words or texts that have led to suicides.

As for becoming better at something, “You know how to become good at something – by learning from mistakes,” Milo said.

Milo, known for his musical ability and trademark mohawk, said he started in music at age 5 when he began taking piano lessons.

J.D. Eicher and Dylan Kollta from J.D. Eicher and the Goodnights also performed.

Eicher said he shares his messages, like finding your passion and being who you are, and encourages kids to let that guide them through life.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com