Lindsey Barr, as Founder of World-Changing Kids (WCK), creates engaging programs, workshops, activities and resources, focused on kindness, community building and social justice, to help our kids become confident, inspired, compassionate leaders and citizens.

During the pandemic, Lindsey has been running an online Upstanders Academy (for ages 8 to 13) – where kids build the skills and confidence to change the world by taking on real life, community connected passion projects.

The theme for the last session of Upstanders Academy was Activism to End Homelessness. Lindsey was really excited about this theme, because she had not been able to find many resources to use to talk with kids about homelessness. So, as is her style, she decided to create some!

The kids started out the session by interviewing Brigitte Boulay, from Shadow Ottawa – a collective consciousness group that raises awareness and supports Ottawa’s homeless and at risk. They learned more about the campaign that Shadow Ottawa was running to fill 100 Happy Bags to give to their street friends, and the kids decided they wanted to help.

For the second week, the amazing Dylan Black came on to interview the kids about their work with Shadow Ottawa. You can watch this heartwarming video on World-Changing Kids’ YouTube channel here.

For the third week, the kids interviewed Joanna, who is a Nurse Practitioner at the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre. Joanna had messaged Lindsey, when she heard about the theme of this session, and suggested that they also discuss rooming houses – because this is an issue near and dear to her heart. Joanna is actually in a documentary, called Blue Roses, on this important topic. Lindsey and the kids watched the trailer for the documentary and decided that they would love to interview her. This conversation taught both Lindsey and the kids so much. You can watch this beautiful documentary here.

Then for the last week, the kids interviewed Taylor, Housing Support Worker & Volunteer Coordinator at Operation Come Home – to get a deeper understanding of homelessness and youth.

Then Lindsey got to speak about all this with Dahlia Kurtz, on her radio show The Goods. You can have a listen here.

Lindsey’s philosophy in everything she does with WCK is to talk about real life issues with kids, at a level that they can handle, letting them lead with questions, and then pairing this with an action they can take to help make things better. She believes that by providing kids with actions they can take to make things better now, not just in the future, but right now, we will help them become confident, inspired, passionate, curious, fulfilled, empathetic adults. Rather than what we are seeing a lot of lately, which is young people who are anxious, overwhelmed and apathetic because the world’s problems seem too big and they don’t know where they can fit into the solutions.

Lindsey believes that in our current time, with everything that is going on, raising our kids to be compassionate, engaged leaders with a deep knowledge of the many different injustices in our world that need to be corrected, seems like one of the most important things we can be doing.

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