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2013 Iowa Student Global Leadership Conference

February 25, 2013

On Feb. 8, 2013, 19 of IRIS’ KL-YES students arrived in Des Moines, Iowa to take part in the annual Iowa Student Global Leadership Conference (ISGLC).

Anna, Munira, Nasra, Deborah and Asha at the dance

Anna, Munira, Nasra, Deborah and Asha at the dance

Each year, 100 exchange students and their new Iowa friends come together in Des Moines to share a weekend of learning about one another’s cultures. In just less than 24 hours, students took part in several cultural learning and leadership activities including: Speed friending, international trade simulations, discussions on global issues, small group activity sessions, pool time and a dance.

KL-YES student, Batuhan from Turkey, enjoyed getting together with students his own age over the weekend and said, “The most beautiful thing was meeting new people from 43 different countries.”

While the students enjoyed sharing ideas, learning about different cultures and making new friends, the keynote address by speaker Dean Jacobs was something most will never forget. Longji from Nigeria said, “I really love this conference because I was lucky enough to meet Dean Jacobs. I really loved his speech and he inspired me to live out my dream.”

Most of IRIS' KL-YES group

Most of IRIS’ KL-YES group

Jacobs, a world-traveler, photographer and author, is committed to sharing his experiences with a younger generation. He spoke to the students about the importance of following their dreams and understanding the world we share. More information can be found here.

“It amazes me how wonderful a human can be when having dreams in life. What is more wonderful, is being determined to accomplish them. Now I believe coming to the United States is the first step towards fulfilling my dream thanks to Dean Jacobs,” said Saedah from West Bank.

IRIS’ exchange students recall their time at the ISGLC as one of their favorite memories year after year.

Since 1995, the ISGLC has brought together 100 Iowa high school students annually for a two-day conference to foster interaction among students from diverse cultural backgrounds. The conference is sponsored by The Stanley Foundation and cosponsored by The Iowa International Center.

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