Bullied student tickled pink by schoolmates’ T-shirt campaign

Here is a great story of how a simple act can have a profound effect:

Bullied student tickled pink by schoolmates’ T-shirt campaign

Two Nova Scotia students are being praised across North America for the way they turned the tide against the bullies who picked on a fellow student for wearing pink.

Th, a Grade 9 boy at Central Kings Rural High School in the small community of Cambridge, wore a pink polo shirt on his first day of school.

David Shepherd, left, and Travis Price decided to spread word of their 'sea of pink' campaign on the internet.David Shepherd, left, and Travis Price decided to spread word of their ‘sea of pink’ campaign on the internet.


Bullies harassed the boy, called him a homosexual for wearing pink and threatened to beat him up, students said.

Two Grade 12 s, David Shepherd and Travis Price, heard the news and decided to take action.


Author: LiveDifferent

Date: October 26th, 2007

Making a difference in Canada…Lifecycle

Here’s a few pics of what Chris was up to last week. Anyone of you can take your passions and put them to work, get out there and make a difference in your world. I mean, if Chris can…jk, love that guy, love what he is doing, check it out!lifecycle.chris.ubco At University of British Columbia Okanagan in Kelowna…lifecycle.chris.jess.ubco Chris, Jessica, Beautiful Bystander (I don’t know her, but she’s a pretty one!) and Chalk Guy. Jess is doing nursing at UBCO and has was in Mexico a few years ago, she took the initiative when she was here and change the life of a goat herder who lived by the dump… “Nobody chooses to be born in poverty”lifecycle.karaokeforacause Ahh…so many people that I have left behind! I loved to see that you guys are getting together and doing stuff like Karaoke for a Cause. Good on ya. And if you are in this picture, and I know you…HELLO!

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: October 23rd, 2007

Announcing our New Western Departure!

Hello Everyone! We have exciting news for a Friday afternoon. It’s official: Hero Holiday Dominican Republic has a new departure location for Summer 2008! Abbotsford, BC. We have had overwhelming participation from our students in Western Canada, despite the long haul it required to get them to Dominican Republic. Yes, sleepy-eyed after hours of travel, they are little troopers! Details…participants can choose an Abbotsford, BC departure rather than Hamilton, ON. The dates for the trips remain the same. We will have our staff ready and waiting whether you show up in Hamilton or Abbotsford. However, since Abbotsford is twice the distance from Sosua as Hamilton, the cost of Hero Holiday is slightly higher at $2595. Leadership Students, you are not forgotten! You also have the option of flying from Abbotsford instead of Hamilton for a cost of $3895. Well, I hope you are as excited as we are!

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: October 19th, 2007

Upcoming Hero Holiday Application Deadlines

Here are some upcoming application deadlines that you might want to take note of:

  • November 1, 2007: Application Deadline for Thailand Spring Break (Mar 9-24, 2008) Hero Holiday
  • November 15, 2007: Application Deadline for Mexico Spring Break (Mar 1-11, 2008) Hero Holiday
  • December 1, 2007: Application Deadline for our Student Leadership Program
  • If there is enough interest, we are considering running a Christmas Hero Holiday Trip in Mexico, for families and individuals. Please email our Hero Holiday Director, Charles Roberts, as soon as possible  at, if you are interested in the opportunity to do something significant this Christmas.

Please visit our trips page more more information, or visit our applications page to apply

Author: LiveDifferent


Important News about School of Leadership

Our School of Leadership has an exciting new development for 2008, and we would like to share it with you!

Due to popular demand, we are planning two start dates for 2008!

The first school of the year will be an 8 month program running from January 10th-August 13th, 2008. The school year will be an exciting mix of 20 weeks in Canada, 13 weeks in Dominican Republic, and an amazing social justice curriculum that will change the way you think and change your world view! While in Canada, our students tour the high schools of our nation with one of our road teams. While in Dominican Republic, our students will be involved with an innovative Social Justice Curriculum, working in the local communities, and helping to host our July Hero Holidays.

We will also be running our regular 9 month program from August 20th, 2008-May 31, 2009, with our students traveling to Mexico for thirteen weeks.

This means that you have two options if you are interested in joining LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) in the coming year! We are accepting a maximum of 20 students for each term, so if you’re interested, please get your applications in as soon as possible, as we cannot accept any more applications once a semester is full.

During both programs, you will experience a wide range of opportunities and possibilities. (more…)

Author: LiveDifferent


Participant Blog:My Girl

Nikki and AnnaHave you ever had one person who impacted your life in such a way that just thinking of them brings tears to your eyes? Have you ever missed someone so much that looking at a picture makes your heart break? I have, and she is a six-year old girl named Anna*.
Anna and I met during my 10-day trip to the Dominican Republic with an organization called LiveDifferent. We were building a school in her neighbourhood and every day as we were working the kids would come by to see us. Most of them, some as young as only three, would put on work gloves and help to build their school. Anna was one of those kids; she was my little helper. Every morning when we arrived at Arroyo Seco, she would be standing waiting for the truck, and her face would break into a big smile when she saw me coming down the road. She and her friends would follow the truck down to the school and jump all over us, exchanging hugs and smiles. Anna grabbed my attention immediately. As the other kids would run and jump all over us and beg to be picked up and played with, she would stand off to the side a bit and take everything in. She was quiet and wore a look on her face that at first I took for sadness, but I soon learned that she wasn’t a sad girl and was very blessed with the most generous and caring family I have ever met.

After a few minutes, she and I had already formed a bond that I will never forget. I saw a lot of sad things when I was in the Dominican; I saw kids with swollen bellies and hair turned red from lack of nutrition. I saw families who had to work in a garbage dump for less than a dollar a day. I saw parents who would do anything to give their kids a proper education and successful life. From these people, I learned a lot about life and they will be forever in my memory, however, it is Anna whose picture is framed in my bedroom, and Anna who I think about each and every day.

When I was in the Dominican, my life was changed and I learned so much about endless topics that I could write for pages about. Anna taught me about happiness. Looking back on my life, my happiest moments are spent at Arroyo Seco with Anna’ hand in mine.
When it came time to leave and return to Canada, I carried her to the truck to say our goodbyes. She rested her head on my shoulder, leaving a puddle of tears on my sleeve, and that simple gesture brought me to tears, and I cried like I haven’t cried in a long time. Her mother, one of the kindest women I have ever met, brought a translator over as she pulled Anna, still crying, from my arms and told him to tell me that “This little girl is mine, but now she is both of ours.”

In the next year before I go back to the DR, her memories will probably fade of that week as she goes to school, turns seven years old, and moves ahead with her life, but my memories of her will never fade. She is, without a doubt, the one person who has touched me the most in my life, and the person who taught me what it is to feel truly happy.

~Nikki Cochrane

*Name has been changed to protection identity.

**All participants are given the opportunity to blog so many views are represented. These views do not necessarily reflect the views of LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) Leadership Development. If you are a Builds participant that would like to share your experience please email your story (and picture, if possible) to

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: October 16th, 2007

LIFE CYCLE at University of British Columbia Okanagan

Wednesday, October 16th12pm-4pmUBCO CourtyardCome on down and talk to Chris, check out what he is doing with his ride from BC to Mexico and get the chance to donate to community development projects. Also..bonus…it’s great to be outside in the fall and there will be a band and a graffiti artist.

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: October 15th, 2007


I battled anxiety for most of my life, but I’ve gotten much better. I’ve been to the point where I felt like I deserved to feel this way and I should just live with it. I’ve been to the point where I felt motionless, nothing made me happy, and everything made me anxious or depressed.  I was turning 16 and at the end of the school year last June it truly got to me.  I started becoming super anxious with many things like going online, using instructions, knocking on someone’s door, walking down my school hallway, and even just saying hi to people.  Tons of stuff.   I wanted to change schools but I was afraid to. During the summer, my anxiety got worse and I started to get depressed. I stayed in my house for most of the summer and was so afraid of doing almost anything. When ever I was out of my house, I would get anxious and would start panicking.  I remember not even going on MSN and being afraid to sign up for a Facebook account. It took me days until I got up enough courage to force myself to do so. On my 16th birthday in August, I was alone for the whole day, mostly just watching TV and keeping to myself.  I was actually kind of a social person in the past, but during this summer my SA worsened and got to a bad place. I did not realize I had SA until that birthday when I researched a bunch about my particular problems and found out more about my disorder. I went to a youth clinic a week later.  I didn’t tell anyone about my trip, I just went, and after going to the clinic I was diagnosed with SA.

After my appointment, I had to get ready for a humanitarian trip that I had previously signed up for with a Canadian charity called LiveDifferent. The trip involved me travelling from Victoria BC to Abbotsford BC by myself, by bus and ferry. I had never travelled alone before and I would also be away from my parents for a full 2 weeks. I knew I had to go because we already paid for the experience, but I was so nervous.  I didn’t know anybody that was going and, to be honest, I almost backed out.  The day after I got on the bus to go to the ferry, I realized I needed to trust myself and build my self-esteem to be able to survive the trip.  I had to do this.  I bought a book on anxiety and other mental issues which calmed me down on the way to Abbotsford. When I got to Abbotsford, I met about 15 or so people also going on the trip, none were guys.  My anxiety got really bad, so I just went into my room and watched TV.  When I went to dinner, I remember not saying one word, not a thing.  I finished my dinner and just left rather than having to try and force conversation or get to know these new travel companions. About a day into our bus ride down to Mexico, I was late getting back to the bus after a pit-stop and instead of making light of it or apologizing, I just got on, said nothing, and stared out the window for the next 5 hours.  Thankfully, a poker game started around my general area, a game a really enjoy playing.  I decided to join in and I actually won.  This helped my anxiety a lot.  Not just the winning, but having fun doing something WITH others.   I started to feel relaxed and my SA was slipping to the background.

During the trip, I started to talk more (maybe TOO much actually) and I was able to be more of “myself”.  More than I’d been able to be in a long time.  I got to meet a lot of great people on this trip, 35 or so, all together with a common goal in mind; to do what we could to help others.  I’m so glad I went.  Now, 1 month later, I feel like a totally different person compared to what I was like, what I was dealing with back on my birthday.  This trip has changed my life, and probably not even in the way the organization staff thought it would.  At least not entirely.  I used to keep all my emotions inside and when I felt like crying or doing something that makes me stand out, I’d just kept it in or keep to myself. I feel like my anxiety is not as much of a problem anymore. I even wore a sombrero from Abbotsford to Victoria and on the ferry.  I would have never done that before, ever.  And I’ve already submitted my application for next year’s humanitarian trip, hopefully to participate as a student leader.  I do battle SA every now and then, but it’s not the issue it once was for me and now I’m focused on helping others in schools.

Now that the trip I went on has changed my life, I’m so grateful I was able to participate.  I’m better for it and I hope anyone battling with anxiety and SA can break through too.  I had never had really told anybody about my anxiety issues, but now I’m comfortable with it.  Also to the people on the LiveDifferent trip, I have got to say, it was great meeting you all and getting to know you.  You were all amazing.


*Participants are given the opportunity to blog about their experiences, so many views may be communicated. The views above do not necessarily reflect the views of LiveDifferent.

Author: LiveDifferent



Alright everyone, check out the article about Life Cycle and what Chris is doing in good ol’ P-Town. up Okanagan…Karaoke for a Cause! Join the event, first major funraiser coming up on October 17th, 6-10pm, 945 Main St., Penticton, $5 at the door, there will be a talent show, karaoke, live music, lots of food, mingling you name it, we got it:) everyone should try and make it..even if you live as far away as Ontario, you don’t want to miss this…

Author: LiveDifferent


Thanksgiving Paragliding

So we were having a lazy thanksgiving day in Sylvan Lake, Alberta and needed to get some fresh air, so what better to do than to strap our Team 2 girls into an oversized piece of nylon with strings and toss them into the wind!IMG_5022 Since we really didn’t have much of a hill, I hooked up some rope and tried out the old fashioned human tow:

I managed to launch Andy, Kelsey and Lena into the air for their first successful solo paragliding flights (not parasailing… that is what old ladies do in Mexico. Paragliders fly for hours and 100’s of km in a single flight with just the power of the wind). These girls caught very quickly, nailing some sweet landings and doing much better than Ricky Martin.IMG_5024The dog however has more interested in looking cool and eating boogers.IMG_5021After managing to pull of a bunch of small flights, I hooked up a longer rope to Kelsey and was able to pull her at 30 ft for the entire length of the soccer field for one awesome flight.

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: October 7th, 2007