HELENA - Student leaders in 6th through 12th grade from around the state visited Helena on Sunday for the 63rd annual Montana Association of Student Councils (MASC) state conference.
More than 500 people are expected to attend the conference, which includes the theme: "Capitalize On Your Leadership." The purpose is to inspire student leaders to not only make a positive difference in school but also in their communities.
The keynote speaker was Abdul Wright, the 2016 Minnesota Teacher of the Year. Wright spoke about how the challenges in his life made him the man and educator he is today.
"Empowering young people, giving them a perspective, giving them a sense of wisdom that they don't have to go through some of the trials and tribulations that we as educators have gone through, I think that's our goal," he said. "To make the quality of life or to be part of allowing the quality of life for young people to be that much better."
Wright teaches 8th-grade language arts at the Best Academy in Minneapolis. He is the first African-American man as well as the first charter school teacher to win the honor.
Wright also said he felt very welcomed by the Montana community as soon as he landed in Helena.
The MASC conference continues until Tuesday.