Jordana Meilleur for AOL
One of the more inspirational guests at the We Day
rallies currently rolling across Canada is Me to We speaker Spencer West. In front of gatherings of 18,000 youths celebrating Free the Children
's annual We Day charity series, West shares his courageous life story, detailing the obstacles he's overcome since losing his legs at the age of five.
The charismatic young man spoke with AOL after his inspirational and triumphant speech in Toronto to let us in on his thoughts about leadership and why he's so committed to important global charities like Free the Children.
Jordana Meilleur for AOL
Pop stars and actors united with a sports hero and history-maker on Oct. 13 to make We Day
Vancouver a smashing success. Shawn Desman
whipped up 18,000 kids into a frenzy while basketball great Shaq sent out a message of hope and former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev got everyone thinking globally. The massive event staged by Free the Children -- which held a similar event in Toronto last month and is moving on to Waterloo next -- was an inspiration to all those packed into Rogers Arena.
We Day, sponsored by AOL, featured a lot of special moments so check out the photos below.
Courtesy of We Day
Actress Nina Dobrev isn't the only star with ties to 'Degrassi
' participating in We Day
festivities this year, Munro Chambers and Aislinn Paul from the hit TV show were also on hand to raise the roof in the name of youth empowerment. AOL chatted with the energetic duo backstage at Toronto's Air Canada Centre on Sept. 27 where we learned their motivation for getting involved with the global Free the Children charity. We also discovered that both of them battled stage fright while speaking to the stadium-sized crowd. Can you blame them, though? There were 18,000 cheering teens to impress.
Avril Lavigne has moved beyond the teen sensation tag, leaving behind the mall-punk posturing and angsty girl hiding behind sweeping bangs and heavy eyeliner. With four albums under her no-longer-studded belt, Lavigne has proven staying power and, based on her latest album 'Goodbye Lullaby,' the new-found maturity suits her well.
About to embark on a cross-country tour of her Canadian homeland -- the jaunt kicks off Oct. 1 in Victoria, B.C. -- the singer, who moonlights as a fashion designer and Ford model, spoke to AOL about her "emotionally raw" new record, why single 'Wish You Were Here' was brought about by ex-husband and Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley, her reality TV star boyfriend Brody Jenner (yup, from the infamous Kardashian/Jenner clan) and why she'd, like, totally be a Nirvana groupie if the band was still around.
You wrote 'Darlin',' one of the songs off 'Goodbye Lullaby,' nearly a decade ago. Why record it all these years later?
I learned that song in Napanee in my parents family room and every time I hear it I totally think about that room. That was before I even had a record deal or anything; I was 14 or 15 when I wrote it. So it totally brings back memories. It was also always one of those songs I remembered and I was always playing it for my friends. Oddly enough, Deryck produced the song. The day I met him -- when I was, like, 17 and 'Complicated' was just coming out -- we were in Vancouver with his band, all hanging out, and I played him that song and then like eight years later he produced it. He remembered it and was like, "Let's record this song." So we did.