The real world now has the largest generation aged 15-24 in history. Last year, 75-million young people were unemployed globally. In developing communities, investing in education dramatically increases economic and social capital, and even lowers health care costs. That's why J.R. Martinez calls youth the secret investment that will change the world.
On the final day of our trek from Edmonton to Calgary to raise money for clean water overseas, we're just outside the city limits of Cowtown. I can see Calgary's skyline, and after 10 straight days of walking on my hands, it's like a mirage in the desert.
Never tell Spencer West that he can't do something. A congenital spinal disorder rendered his legs useless, so at age five, West underwent a double amputation to remove them. His biggest challenge -- so far -- was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for charity last June. Today, we were with West as he kicked off the We Walk 4Water campaign, starting a 300-kilometre trek from Edmonton to Calgary.
U.S. Army infantryman J.R. Martinez was only 19 when he was deployed to Iraq, in 2003. Less than a month into his tour of duty with the elite 101st Airborne, his Humvee hit a roadside bomb. The vehicle was thrown into the air, ejecting three other soldiers. Martinez, trapped inside, was engulfed in flames. The skin on his face, arms and hands burned away.