Student wins Free the Children trip

Local student gets invitation to Vancouver We Day at Rogers Arena

Sam Porta’s good work has been rewarded.

The Pitt Meadows secondary student was the face of RPM Pacific Rim Hockey Academy’s anti-bullying campaign locally. She sold T-shirts and pink bracelets, and the money raised was donated to the Amanda Todd Legacy Fund, in memory of the teen victim of bullying who took her own life. After her death, a video explaining how Todd suffered went viral, and it hit home in that she had attended school in Maple Ridge.

Porta’s community service got her an invitation to the Vancouver We Day event on Oct. 18 at Rogers Arena.

It is an invitation-only event, a movement for young people, and it featured speakers like former United Nations head Kofi Annan, retired Canadian general and Rwandan genocide author Romeo Dallaire, and rock star Avril Lavigne.

While there, Porta’s name was randomly selected from among 20,000 young people to win a trip to Ecuador for herself, three friends and a teacher. She will go next summer, July 1-11, and among their projects will be building housing and other facilities under the auspices of the charity movement Free the Children. It’s a rare opportunity to get involved in an organization working for global change, with a focus on young people.

“It’s all about leadership and team building, being the best you can be, and citizenship,” she said.

The work that Porta and the RPM hockey school have done has been noticed. She will be one of the academy’s representatives at the annual Better Business Bureau Torch Awards. A ceremony is being held today at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver.

RPM is one of four business finalists in the category of Community Excellence.