by Ceilidh from Peterborough
"Sometimes life's most important lessons must be literally staring us in the face before we're able to recognize their true value."
Marc Kielburger, an activist for human rights, was born in 1977 in Southern Ontario. Throughout a fortunate youth, he didn't realize that there were others that were much less fortunate than him. Right after he graduated high school, he was working as a page in the House of Commons when someone convinced him to go to Thailand and spend some time helping out a charity in the slums of Bangkok. While working in Klong Toey, Marc discovered his calling: helping others. It took some courageous orphans and someone dying of AIDS, but Marc Kielburger has dedicated his life to the Me to We philosophy.
After returning home to North America, Marc further pursued his education. He accepted a scholarship to study at Harvard and earned a degree Magna Cum Laude in International Relations. He then turned down abundant well-paying job offers in favour of an Oxford degree in law. After graduating Oxford, Marc was again inundated with job offers, with hard-to-ignore starting salaries of $155,000. He made a choice that would change his life: moving back to Canada and starting a children's charity.
Marc is a co-founder (with his brother Craig) of the Kiel Network, a network comprised of a trio of charities: Free the Children; Leaders Today; and Me to We. He is the co-author of two books, Me to We: Turning Self-help on it's Head, and Me to We: Finding Meaning in a Material World. The Me to We philosophy is all about not just thinking about yourself, but helping others, and finding true happiness. Marc also writes regularly for the Toronto Star and Canadian Living.
Marc is the youngest ever to have been awarded the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship. He was, at the time, the youngest person ever to be selected as 'One of Canada's Top 40 Leaders under 40' in 2004. Two years later, his brother, Craig, became the youngest. Marc also has an honourary doctorate from Nipissing University 'for his work in leadership development.'
|Marc speaking (From the Leaders Today website (leaderstoday.com))
Marc Kielburger is my hero because of his dedication to his work and his unselfishness. He has made some great decisions in his life so far, and he has made an important difference in many people's lives. I also admire him for his writing, reaching out not only to those suffering poverty, but to those who are suffering from selfishness and material possession obsession. He has proved that anything is possible if you believe in it. Thanks, Marc, for the inspiration! And now, I challenge YOU to live a 'We' life: helping others whenever you can and changing the world with small acts of kindness. What kind of legacy will you leave?
Free the Children
- The official site of Free the Children, an organization that is concerned with children's rights.
- Read Marc's bio and find out how to get him to be a speaker at your school.
Me to We
- Homepage of Me to We, an organization based on the Me to We philosophy
- Homepage of Leaders Today