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 (www.forum.ca) , 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.
Currently works for the City of Toronto as an Administrative
Staff for the Toronto Youth Cabinet (www.torontoyouth.com),
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
This fall Hassan will be attending York University to study
International Development,International Law and Political
"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.