April 8, 2013 5:16 pm
Updated: April 9, 2013 8:05 am

Toronto teen motivating others to volunteer in their communities


TORONTO – Shane Feldman is only 18 years old and already a motivational speaker, a university student, an actor and the founder of Count Me In – the largest youth-run movement in Canada.

“It’s all about promoting volunteerism and really being that link between students and the country’s charitable sector,” said Feldman.

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He began developing Count Me In when he was in Grade 9 at Westmount Collegiate Institute and held his first motivational speech there in front of his peers. Five years later, Feldman is proud to go back to his former high school where it all began.

“It was really amazing to come back and talk to the Grade 9s,” said Feldman. “Because that’s the year that everything really sparked inside of me.”

The main goal of Count Me In is to help students take their passions and connect them to community service projects and volunteer opportunities through school workshops and conferences.

“Shane has an infectious, you know passion for social justice and we saw it in class. He had something that you see in students but his was fully developed,” said Feldman’s former teacher Neil Orlowsky. “You knew he was going to change the world.”

During his keynote speech at Westmount, Feldman motivated students to go out and volunteer. He then took the students out to package sandwiches for the homeless in Toronto and write messages to be sent to kids in Ethiopia and Uganda.

“He really motivated me because he was in high school when he started the organization,” said Westmount student Michelle Klausner. “And me being in high school now, it just really shows me that you’re never too young to find something that you’re passionate about and work on it.”

Feldman hopes to take Count Me In’s message across the world to empower and inspire youths on an international level.

© 2013 Shaw Media

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