By Jim Williams

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Allstate Arena was packed with thousands of young, Chicago-area people who earned a ticket to a pep rally by their good works in the community.

CBS 2’s Jim Williams joined them for “WE Day.”

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As a boy, Griffen Saul found a passion that was inspired by his father.

“Even before I was born, my father was diagnosed with advanced multiple sclerosis,” the 18-year-old Lincoln Park High School senior said.

Brad Saul was an entrepreneur and an advocate for people with disabilities.

“He was such a remarkable person,” Griffen said of his father.

Griffen looks to continue in his dad’s entrepreneurial footsteps, which landed him a ticket for Illinois’ WE Day.

WE Day is a celebration of youth making a difference in their local and global communities. On Wednesday, 15,000 high-achieving individuals were honored for actively serving their communities.

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Speakers such as actor LaRoyce Hawkins shared life lessons.

“It’s a lot of good going in Chicago, it’s a lot of positivity,” the Harvey native said.

Savannah Graves, 11, is planting a garden for her school “to improve and make her school better.”

Daisy Garcia, a high school senior, organizes food drives.

“That felt awesome. It was like I have a voice, I can do something,” Garcia said.

From the high-energy arena on WE Day, these young people will continue their community service. And Griffen will continue to honor his father, who passed away in 2015.

“You either define your fate or you’re defined by it. He really embodied what it meant to never let obstacles define who you are.”

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Half of the young people at the Allstate Arena on Wednesday are from Chicago Public Schools. The WE Organization hosts these events across the U.S., Canada and the U.K.