Hello people of the internet! My name is Jesse Ruben. I'm a singer/songwriter from Philadelphia currently living in Brooklyn, NY. I can’t imagine anything more fun than what I get to do, which is write songs and travel and make a difference for people. When I started out playing music for a living, I never dreamed I'd create a program for kids. But to date, thousands of students across the US and Canada have participated in the We Can Project, and the number of schools involved continues to grow every year.
How did we get here? One day in 2013 I opened up my email and read this message. It was from Jen Turner, an elementary school teacher from Vancouver Island in Canada:
Our school was inspired by your song “We Can”. Not only has it inspired the teachers, it has also given our students confidence to celebrate their “cans” as well as their future goals and dreams. As a school we are asking ourselves what can we do to help each other, the community, the world?!
We would love to have you come to our school to support our “I can” theme. We know you are a busy guy and we are just a tiny school in Canada. However, you have empowered us with your words and, as the students would say, “we can” always ask him! Thank you for giving us the courage through your lyrics to dream of something larger than ourselves. We can’t wait to hear from you and hopefully hear you play for us in person!
The only thing better than receiving this email was the week that I got to spend with Jen and her students. I was amazed by the goals they were creating and accomplishing, such as building a community garden and raising money for a local animal shelter. To celebrate, we filmed a music video for the song “We Can,” which you can watch HERE.
Once other teachers saw the video and heard about what had happened at Jen’s school, they wrote to me asking how they could bring “We Can” to their schools. That's when I realized that this was bigger than just my song. With the help of some very dedicated educators, we designed and created The We Can Project.
Since its creation, The We Can Project has been implemented in Elementary, Middle, and High schools all across the United States and Canada to over 125,000 student participants. It has been featured on CBS Morning Show in New York, CTV News all across Canada, as well as in numerous local publications.