ISM Stories

ISM SLO Leaders Blend Learning and Adventure at the Student Life Training Conference in Cairo, Egypt

When most people think of “Egypt,” they often think of ancient wonders… but at ISM, we also think of it as the location for the 2023 international SABIS® Student Life Training Conference. This year, Andrew Cheng (‘24) and Ava Kletti (‘24) were chosen to represent ISM; Andrew as the 2023/2024 SLO Head Prefect and Ava as the former Head Prefect and 2023/2024 Deputy Head of Outreach. This annual event brings together students from all over the SABIS® School Network for a unique experience that blends learning, personal development, and fun. 

Conference attendees include active Student Life Coordinators (SLCs), Head Prefects, and select students on the leadership teams. Together, they will participate in strategic meetings and lectures to improve the school’s Student Life program, brainstorming sessions, life skills training sessions, leadership training, and much more. 

Sarah Bianucci, ISM’s Student Life Coordinator, notes that, “Egypt is a place that none of us have been, and I don’t know if we’d ever be able to go without an amazing opportunity like this.”  

During the conference, Andrew and Ava will also have the unique opportunity to showcase to the rest of the world how ISM engages with its own student community through a presentation they’re creating on three SLO programs: Huskies and Pups, Adopt-A-Family, and the Husky Huddle. In addition to giving their own presentations, all of the student representatives will spend every morning in learning conferences and every afternoon participating in team building activities. Approximately 150 students and SLCs will take part in the conference.

“Ava and Andrew both have commanding presences and know what it means to lead a team. Now they get to work with a larger group of students from all over the world! If that sounds amazing, it's because it is,” says  Mrs. Bianucci. “It will take Andrew and Ava’s knowledge and experiences to the next level.”

It’s not all work and no play! Each night, the conference brings attendees to different sight-seeing and culture-rich activities around Egypt. Ava, who says one of her “biggest trips” up to this point was ISM’s Spring Break trip to New York City, can’t wait to see the pyramids. “I’m really excited about that, because I get to put on my history glasses and look at everything. It’ll be really cool. That’s something I always like to do when I go to new places.”

Andrew adds, “I’m most excited about having the first-hand experience of learning about ancient Egypt, meeting student leaders from all over the world and sharing our own ISM SLO stories with them.”

While Andrew and Ava look forward to learning more about Egypt and networking with student leaders, Mrs. Bianucci’s excitement lies in the ease of travel with these two students. “I know that they will do what they need to do, and other people will say ‘Wow, you have really good leaders.’ Just to see them thrive without holding their hands is awesome,” says Mrs. Bianucci.

The conference promises to be an incredible journey where our two students will grow academically, culturally, and personally. Andrew, Ava, and Mrs. Bianucci will return to ISM equipped with new skills, fresh perspectives, and a renewed passion for leadership within their community. Upon returning home, the three will be able to share their knowledge and experiences with the rest of the SLO leadership team to shape the future of their very own school community and ISM’s Student Life Organization as a whole.

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