Last Month, I had the great honour of being the Keynote Speaker at Emily Carr Middle School’s WE day. I think that it is absolutely amazing that local schools are hosting WE Day’s and it was clear that this school took it very seriously.
For those of you who aren’t aware, “ WE is a movement that brings people together and gives them the tools to change the world. Get involved with your family, school, company or as an individual. Together, we can shift the world from “me” to “we” “.
Throughout the day, guests from a variety of organizations, NFPs and businesses, volunteered their time to host sessions all in relation to mental, physical, and emotional health. Everyone was so passionate about their fields of interest and were excited to participate. It was clear that students also appreciated the schools efforts to bring in a diverse range of guests, to appeal to each and every kid.
I was the keynote speaker to kick off WE day, as well as ran TKD sessions in the afternoon for fun. This was the first time I was speaking in front of an entire school so it was an extremely exciting moment for me. I really appreciated the students participation, enthusiasm and respect for one another. The age range of the students were grades 6-8, and they were some of the nicest kids I had ever met.
I decided to talk about 10 lessons to being a champion inside and outside of the ring. I am a big believer in aiming high, and shooting for the stars, because working towards goals helps us grow as people. That being said, I also believe that being proud of who you are, and how you treat others, is the key to true happiness.
The first 5 lessons are about setting and reaching goals, while the last 5 are about being the best possible version of yourself, period. This talk is really important to me, because the lessons I have learned from TKD, and world championships surpass the sport. It’s what inspired me to come up with the Believe Project in the first place.
They have shaped how I approach new goals with passion, how I treat people, how I treat myself, and has shown me how to build my own confidence, in what ever aspect of my life. It taught me that we can’t control everything, and that to be the best versions of ourselves, we need to be 100% true to who we are, as we travel through our stages of life.
I also gave the students 2 challenges for the day, in the spirit of “WE day”.
1. Do at least one nice thing for somebody else.
2. Learn at least 1 meaningful thing about somebody else.
So often we think about ourselves, and everything we are going through, that we forget to think about others. These simple challenges were to remind people to think of others, for a change.
I found it really sweet how students throughout the day would come up to me, and update me on their progress with the challenge. I was touched that they were actually participating!
The TKD sessions were really fun, because it put a lot of students out of their comfort zones, as well as allowed other students who did martial arts to take leadership roles with pride to help their friends and be role models. I loved watching all the smiles and giggles, as people were punching and kicking for the first time.
Thank you Emily Carr Middle School for having me, and for being so awesome!
“Kayla Maduk was a fantastic, passionate guest speaker.”
“She connected taekwondo, something not everyone participates in, with many different aspects of life that can be more relatable to them. “
“Her skill and teaching ability are clear and are present in all activities.”