Press Release: Iowa Students Will Make Their Voice Heard

For Immediate Release November 4, 2015

EVENT: Iowa Student Learning Institute 2015 RISE Conference DATE: November 7th, 2015, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM LOCATION: Waukee High School, 555 SE University, Waukee, Iowa, 50263 On Saturday, November 7th, around 200 students, educators, and community members from across Iowa will come together to take a stand on issues facing young people at the third annual RISE conference. The conference will be guided by the challenge “RISE: The world needs you.” Students will spend the day learning how to be changemakers and to make a difference in the world around them. RISE will feature prominent keynote addresses from:

  • Benjamin Yao of Kids Change The World, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating productive and fulfilling lives for children across the world.

  • Dowling Catholic High School students who walked out in protest of the termination of their teacher’s contract based on his sexual orientation.

  • Mary Bontrager from the Greater Des Moines Partnership who will challenge students to synergize and collaborate together to be successful in their efforts to make change across Iowa.

The conference will also include breakout sessions for students to take positions on problems that they care about (including mental health, college affordability, and student rights) as well as “bootcamp” training sessions on advocacy and action. Participants will leave with solutions to issues facing young people as well as tangible skills for making their voice heard and their ideas a reality. After the event, there will be a screening of Most Likely to Succeed, a documentary highlighting what schools and teachers are truly capable of doing. This is the first screening of the film in Iowa. Registration for the RISE conference is open through Friday, November 6th at The Iowa Student Learning Institute is a student-led, non-profit organization dedicated to revolutionizing Iowa’s approach to education through the power of student voice. For more information, visit or contact: Ian Coon Co-Founder and Board President 515.822.8834