As for me, I had a very eventful and enjoyable 2009. Firstly, I want to thank each and every one of you who have helped me make it such a successful year. I also want to thank those throughout Canada and the world who have given their time, resources and energy to make change. You are the true unsung heroes who make the world a better place.
In 2009, I held the “Barefoot Challenge,” where I lived life without shoes for seven days during National Volunteer Week, from April 19 to 25. Thousands of young people from more than 25 countries around the world kicked off their shoes to better understand the struggles faced by poor children in underdeveloped countries, many of whom cannot afford shoes, let alone other basic necessities. When people asked me why I didn’t have shoes, I told them because millions of children throughout the world didn’t either.
During the summer, I had the honour of traveling to South Africa to meet with Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. We spoke about so much that is happening in the world today, and how young people can work together to create a better world. I also had the opportunity to meet some incredible students at schools throughout the country.
In August, I participated in a scientific expedition in the Arctic called “Students on Ice,” where 75 young people and 30 scientists from all over the globe learned how increasing greenhouse gas emissions and climate change are affecting the rest of the planet. I also continued on a very busy speaking tour for my book, Making Change: Tips From an Underage Overachiever, and was the focus of a story on CNN.
In the second part of my book, there are worksheets that will help you plan your next twelve months. They ask you to list spiritual, personal, educational, community service, financial and even fitness goals. There are also weekly and monthly goal lists that will help you stay on track throughout the year.
The worksheets also ask you to list your strengths and most importantly, your personal mission statement, so that you can utilize what you do best in order to live 2010 – and the next decade – to the fullest. The best way of doing that is to realize what your dreams are. After all, dreams are simply your goals being fulfilled.
So start dreaming and realizing your potential. Here’s wishing you the best in 2010 and beyond. Keep on making change, and Happy New Year!
“Together We Can Make A Difference”