Iowa High Schoolers Open Registration for 5th Annual RISE Student Leadership Conference

The Iowa Student Learning Institute is hosting its fifth annual RISE Student Leadership conference for K-12 students across Iowa on Saturday, November 4, 2017.

The day will consist of morning keynote addresses by student leaders from across the nation and interactive, breakout sessions led by students in the afternoon. It is sure to be a day full of motivation and learning for attendees.

This innovative event for students, by students will be held at the Waukee Innovation and Learning Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In 2013, high school students Ian Coon and Jack Hostager from Waukee High School and Dubuque Hempstead High school, respectively, held the first RISE conference.

“Five years ago I couldn’t even imagine that this event would reach a five-year anniversary! We’ve been able to reach thousands of Iowa students and tell them their voice matters,” Coon said.

Students have run for local, elected office; created inclusive school environments by starting various clubs; and held walkouts to protest unfair administrative decisions over the past four years.

The legacy of this event lives on and is nowhere near finished. Today, students Ryan Longenecker of Bettendorf High School and Hannah Hoth of the University of Northern Iowa run the 501(c)(3) organization.

“The first time I attended the RISE conference I was in middle school. It really changed my thinking about how school should work. So much so that I joined and now lead the IowaSLI team,” said Longenecker.

This year’s keynote speakers will inspire students to take action in educational issues that most affect students. Hunter Radenslaben, founder of Athlete Nation and motivational speaker from Waverly, Nebraska, will share his personal journey of finding his voice. Mike Floyd, the youngest elected school board member in the country from Pearland, Texas, will excite students to run for office as a way to effectively make change at their local schools.

“Being our fifth year, I think it’s important that we celebrate the work that’s been accomplished along with making sure this year’s conference will be filled with extra surprises to continue the student voice movement,” said Hoth.

Any student wanting to take initiative in their local community is encouraged to register for this event. Registration is free for all attendees. Learn more and sign up online at

About Iowa Student Learning Institute:

The Iowa Student Learning Institute is a nonprofit organization that is run by students, for students. IowaSLI is dedicated to revolutionizing Iowa’s approach to education through the power of student voice. By hosting three annual events, launching student action teams in schools and strategically networking online and in-person we hope to give students a voice in issues that directly affect their education. To learn more and join the student voice movement in Iowa, visit