Sam Demma helps students and staff empty their backpacks

Keynote speaker makes stop at Bell Let's Talk event on campus

Sam Demma came to Algonquin College during his “Empty your Backpack” tour on Jan. 24 for Bell Let’s Talk Day and did a presentation on unpacking negative beliefs.

At 17 years old, after suffering three knee injuries pursuing his dream to play professional sports, Demma went down a challenging path.

Demma had a teacher who helped him transition his passion for professional sports towards youth empowerment, and he started doing presentations in schools across North America.

“I think he’s a perfect student ambassador for this space to have these conversations,” said Sarah Crawford, manager of student support services.

Over 100 people attended the show in the Student Commons.

Demma wrote his book Empty Your Backpack during the COVID-19 pandemic to encourage readers to realize the thoughts they carry around will impact the choices they make, which will affect their future careers.

“My goal with the book is to help people realize that their thoughts matter, and they don’t have to carry negative ones that weigh them down, and they can let those things go,” Demma said.

Demma offered his book to the most enthusiastic audience member. Elijah Joseph, a Level 1 general business student, was invited on stage.

“I’ve known Sam Demma for years,” Joseph said. “He did Launch 2021 and Launch 2022 for my high school so I’ve seen him online do talks like this so I was interested.”

Elijah Joseph, Level 2 general business student on stage with Demma.
Elijah Joseph, a Level 2 general business student, on stage with Demma.

The Algonquin Students’ Association teamed up with Student Support Services to organize this event to end the stigma and get everyone more comfortable talking about their mental health.

“We try catering these messages more around students, but I think it’s important for staff to understand too,” said Alain Cyr-Russo, senior manager of student life. “You see someone you know, just go say hi, there’s nothing wrong with that.”

Student Support Services provided many booths with additional services around campus to bring mental health to the forefront, giving out Bell Let’s Talk Day merchandise and talking about supporting students.

Bell Let’s Talk notes were distributed, allowing students to write positive messages which were put on walls around campus.

Student Support Services provides mental health support, including a drop-in space where students can connect with student peers and many groups in the Health and Wellness Zone located on the third floor of the E building.

“Find someone you can have a conversation with about the things you may be carrying because it’s a lot easier to empty your backpack when there’s another human being around,” Demma said.

Follow Algonquin Times on Instagram
Algonquin Times on Instagram
Algonquin Times podcast
Algonquin Times horoscopes
Algonquin Times horoscopes
Algonquin Times podcast
Follow Algonquin Times on Instagram
Algonquin Times on Instagram

Sections

Algonquin Times horoscopes
Algonquin Times podcast
Algonquin Times on Instagram
Follow Algonquin Times on Instagram
Algonquin Times on Instagram
Algonquin Times horoscopes
Algonquin Times podcast
Follow Algonquin Times on Instagram

Stay Informed

Sign up for our newsletter

You have been subscribed. Thank you!