Ryan Laird knows how to chase dreams and last Friday he was sharing that knowledge with the students of College Heights Secondary School.
The accomplished Fergus-raised Canadian country music singer, who calls Nashville home these days, brought his message of positivity and dream chasing to the school as part of its Wellness Day activities.
"Chase those dreams. Take the bull by the horns and reign them in. Say 'I'm going to be in control of my own destiny to help make my dreams come true,'" Laird told the students in attendance.
He sang a few songs, chatted with students about how to go about chasing your dreams and even brought one young man up front to play air guitar during one of his tunes.
Laird is heavily involved in the Bigger Than That movement that puts on presentations in schools encouraging youth to dream big and not let negativity get in the way of positivity.
Laird told the story of how he went to Nashville to chase his dream of being a country music singer and some of the steps he took.
"I packed my guitar up, I piled everything into my Honda Civic and I headed to Nashville. I didn't know a soul down there but I went down there with my dream and I had a goal and certain actions - certain steps - that I had to take to make that dream come true," Laird said.
Eventually he came up with the idea of renting a billboard with a huge sign asking Taylor Swift to listen to his music and perhaps consider producing his album.
The bold move brought him all kinds of media attention as well as some from Swift herself.
"There's certain things you're going to need to do to make your dream come true," Laird told the audience. "The first thing is to have a dream. But often you're going to have to do certain activities, take certain steps, to help make that dream come true ... you're going to have to walk those stairs."
During some interaction with students, Laird heard from a Grade 10 student who wanted to be an actress and encouraged her to start taking steps that could help that dream come true, such as mini-productions on YouTube.
Another student told Laird he wanted to be a writer, and they discussed the student putting stories on the Internet for free to get exposure.
After Laird's mini-concert and presentation the students spent the day moving between a variety of Wellness Day activities held in various classrooms.