Students from Charlottetown JPS recently had a very inspiring visit from Free the Children ambassador Spencer West. When Spencer was five years old, he lost his legs as a result of a genetic disease. At a school visit last month, Spencer spoke to staff and students about the importance of perseverance and redefining possible each and every day. Spencer also shared that on June 12 he would be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for clean water projects in Kenya.
Charlottetown has been fundraising for Free the Children for the past year. After the school’s first Me to We Leadership Club attended We Day in September, the eager group of Grade 5 students vowed to work as hard as they could to raise funds and awareness for both local and global issues. Motivated by Spencer’s incredible determination, Charlottetown staff and students decided to do everything they could to support his cause.
Through creative fundraisers such as a school-wide Amazing Race, the first-ever Waterfront Water Walk, and many lemonade stands, cupcake sales and yard sales, Charlottetown was thrilled to present Spencer with a cheque for $6,500 to support building a clean water programs in Haiti and Kenya with Free the Children.
In addition, the Charlottetown students also presented Spencer with a massive mural of 465 handprints in the form of Mount Kilimanjaro to cheer him on during his journey. After his inspiring speech, staff and students lined up outside and gave him “high fives” as he climbed “Mount Charlottetown”, a hill located in the field behind the school.
“This is a day that both students and staff will remember forever,” said Gabriela Parada-Morose, Charlottetown PS teacher and Me to We Leadership Club advisor. “Spencer has inspired us all with his incredible determination and I'm very proud of the school community for coming together to support this deserving cause.”
Today, Spencer successfully reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. You can read all about his experience here.