Brooklyn Park, MN — Salma Hussein is a connector, educator, healer and passionate advocate for Somali women and girls. She and her sister founded Girls Initiative in Recreation and Leisurely Sport (GIRLS), a nonprofit organization that has blossomed into a cross-cultural community and safe space for women and girls to exercise and play sports. In her work with GIRLS, she sees the impact that strong relationships have on the lives of youth. Similarly, as an assistant public school principal, she understands the connection between trusted relationships between students and adults and academic success. She is determined to build a community of caring adults who can end the opportunity gap that disproportionately harms Black, Brown and Indigenous students. She wants to be at the forefront of system change in education, producing joy, healing, connection and liberation for educators and students. To be this transformative leader, she will earn her doctorate degree and pursue a coaching certification.