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Student from Somalia is delegated to attend Presidential Classroom's Future World Leaders Conference


This past month Hassan Hilowle Abukar was one of 27 students to be delegated to represent Canada at the Future World Leaders Summit that was held in Washington DC. Over 400 student representatives from over 35 different countries were in attendance at this prestigious world conference which is held twice a year in the capitol of the United States.

Presidential Classroom is an educational organization that brings together high school students from all over the world for a week of seminars, discussions and meetings with the world's most influential leaders. It offers the chance to see policy-makers in action. Since 1968, Presidential Classroom has introduced more than 87,000 student leaders to Washington.

Hassan is the first Somalian to attend a Presidential Classroom program and the first to attend the Future World Leaders Summit, which is one of the many programs that Presidential Classroom offers. Since he is only a permanent resident of Canada and a Citizen of Somalia, the Somalian flag was raised along with other 34 international flags.

Presidential Classroom offers four focus programs over the course of 12 weeks: the PC Scholars Program (a civic education program), the Science, Technology and Public Policy Program, Business, Labor and Public Policy Program and, for international students, the Future World Leaders Summit which Hassan attended this July 7-14.

To participate, students must be juniors or seniors in high school, hold a ""B"" average or higher OR rank in the top 25 percent of their class, be leaders in their community, and show commitment to community or school involvement through participation in extra curricular activities.

Besides the great seminars, the week also included a private tour of the White House, visits to IMF building, the National Defense University and military base, and a tour of Washington DC. Special guest speakers included ambassador of Norway, Chairman of the Organization of American States and Vice-President of the United States Dick Cheney.

In his local community Hassan is regarded as a community leader and a role model. He has volunteered over 2000 hours in school and in the community during his high school years. In high school Hassan has held the titles of Public Relations Officer, Vice-President of the student council and Vice-President of the Toronto District School Board Super Council (Student Council of Student Councils). He has sat on many steering committees as youth rep and has participated in many other conferences including Forum for Young Canadians ( , Youth Forum of the Americas (youth version of the Summit of the America's) and Interchange on Canadian Studies.

Hassan has been recognized over the years for his leadership and commitment to the community locally and nationally. Last year Hassan received the Harry Jerome Excellence in Leadership award at the annual Harry Jerome Awards (Harry Jerome) which is national awards gala where the black community recognizes it's best and brightest, this year Hassan was awarded the Herbert H. Carnegie's Future Aces Citizenship Award and Scholarship, 2001 YMCA Black Achievers Community Volunteer and Outstanding Achievement Award, and 2001 Future Shop's Leadership Scholarship.

Hassan Currently works for the City of Toronto as an Administrative Staff for the Toronto Youth Cabinet (, a youth organization that is official body of the municipal government. He is also involved with the Ontario Young People’s Alliance (OYPA), Students Commission, and the African Canadian Legal Clinic.

This fall Hassan will be attending York University to study International Development,International Law and Political Science.

"To be recognized as a future world leader means a lot to me. To be one of the few Canadians to participate in this prestigious Future Leaders Summit meant a lot, but most of all, to be the first Somalian to attend and have my flag raised at the opening ceremony and for the rest of the week meant even more to me" says Hassan.

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