Inspiring youth to be change-makers

Education | February 9, 2017

Imagine walking into school one day and learning that you appear on an online poll of the 10 ugliest people at the school. Imagine the feeling of humiliation, shock and anger that would come with this discovery, and knowing that since it’s online, there are no limits to how far it could reach. This is the story of Lynelle Cantwell, an average high school student from St. John’s Newfoundland. In that moment, everything in her life changed. She decided that she had a choice in the matter and took a stand to rise above the cyberbullying. She responded with an emotional and touching Facebook post about the incident, which was met with an outpouring of support from both her classmates and youth across Canada.

The sad reality is that stories like Lynelle’s are all too common. Cyberbullying is one of the most prevalent issues facing Canadian youth today. We decided to tackle this issue through our partnership with WE Day, the largest series of youth education and empowerment events in North America, which inspires socially-minded teens and pre-teens to learn about social issues and take action in their communities. We also integrated with TELUS WISE (Wise Internet and Smartphone Education), our free national educational program about Internet safety and privacy, by offering youth and parents tools and resources to combat online negativity. We created the platform #RiseAbove, a powerful statement that empowers us all to stand up against cyberbullying. Lynelle took the stage to share her powerful and motivational story during the TELUS segment onstage.

We Give Where We Live Speaking Tour

In addition to our partnership with WE Day, TELUS exclusively sponsors WE’s We Give Where We Live Speaking Tour. The tour, which expects to reach 86 schools across Canada in 2017, encourages and empowers young Canadians to become ambassadors of positive change throughout the school year. Similar to WE Day programming, the 2017 tour tackles cyberbullying with a strong integration of TELUS WISE messaging.