After going on my first Hero Holiday in 2011 to the Dominican Republic, I realized on that trip that my passion was to bring change to the lives of others. Now being blessed enough to be a student in LiveDifferent Academy and getting to make a change in a different person’s life everyday – it is the best feeling. LiveDifferent Academy is an eight month experience of personal growth and spreading love. Four months are spent touring across Canada, West or East coast, doing motivational presentations in high schools. Being an East Coast girl, I’m ecstatic to be touring the West Coast. We’re one month into our touring so far and it’s been an amazing one for sure.
Nervous, scared, intimidated, or excited: the emotion for me doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I can try and touch at least one kid’s heart or mind, and that there’s bound to be one “Chelsea” in every audience. Even if it feels like no one listened, or I messed up my story, there’s hopefully going to be that one person that listened. The feeling that comes with a show ending is an interesting feeling. I’m so proud of my team for nailing another show- “NAILED IT” as we say! There is also the feeling of nervous anticipation as students approach you to discuss the show, whether it be about how much they loved the band or the lights, it doesn’t matter what we talk about, but my absolute favourite moment after a show is when that one “Chelsea” comes up to me after the show and says she/he can relate to my story. Even now after having grown up a bit and knowing that I’m not alone with my feelings of self consciousness or feeling alone, it’s still very nice and reassuring when someone says they know how you feel. I hope that with me sharing my personal story of struggles in junior high, that I can make sure students know that they are not alone, whatsoever.
Even if I’m having a hard day on the road from lack of sleep or feeling sick, it’s never that bad of a day because I’m surrounded by an amazing group of friends that I’m travelling with and being with students everyday that think I’m a total rock star for sharing my story on stage. They think I’m the rock star, but honestly, they are. The fact that they have the courage to come up and talk to me, (a complete stranger to them), about all the things happening in their life, is really a heart warming feeling.
I remember watching LiveDifferent presentations for a few year when I was still in High School, and always thinking about how admirable these people on stage were. The fact that I now get to be that person, bringing happiness to the lives of others by inserting hope for the future is honestly the best feeling I’ve ever experienced in my short nineteen years. Some may think it’s a selfish thing, basing your own happiness off of making others feeling good, but to me I would try and make these people happy even if it wasn’t making me feel happy. If we as a LiveDifferent team get to affect people’s lives every day and bring some happiness and put a smile on at least one face a day, then we’ve done our job, whether it is with my super bad jokes or the simple fact that they now have the reassurance that everyone has their own struggles. Those struggles don’t have to define us, they can shape us into the people we are, by making us the best humans we can possibly be. There’s one “Chelsea” in every crowd, and I hope with all my heart I can put a smile on their face.
– Chelsea, LiveDifferent Academy Student, Fall 2013