Northwest Suburban Integration School District hosted it's annual Student Leadership Conference at Marriott Minneapolis Northwest in Brooklyn Park on Monday, May 15, 2018. The purpose of the Student Leadership Conference is to teach teamwork, leadership skills and workplace values; promote interest in the field of education; and encourage students to enroll in post-secondary education.
The Student Leadership Conference united a diverse group of approximately 400 high school students from across the seven districts of NWSISD that participate in one of two programs: Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) and Educators Rising. The all-day conference included a variety of hands-on workshops, competitive events and a College & Career Fair.
This year, Halima Aden was the conference keynote speaker. The Somali-American, born in a Kenyan refugee camp, was the first contestant to compete in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, her Miss USA state pageant, in a hijab and burkini. After garnering international media attention from the pageant for staying true to herself and practicing her interpretation of her Muslim faith, she was summoned to New York by fashion industry icon, Carine Roitfeld. She landed the cover of CR Fashion Book Issue 10 after her first professional photo shoot. Halima Aden took the fashion world by storm signing with IMG Models and walking the runway in New York and Milan Fashion Weeks. She has worked with top fashion photographers as well as appeared on the cover of Vogue Arabia and ALLURE to name a few. Halima has a passion for giving back. Her partnership working as an ambassador for UNICEF USA has been especially near to her heart. Additionally, she travels internationally speaking at universities and various events about the importance of inclusion and acceptance by sharing her personal story.