Student Senate Named LeadMN Student Senate of the Year

collage of 6 students

Pictured, from top left: Henri Mingo, Director of IT; Nicolas Von Ahn, Director of Finance; Bonne Ogbu, Senator of Diversity.
Pictured, from bottom left: Elena Williams, President; Ibtisam Mohamoud, Director of Advocacy; Fofo Bristol, Vice President.

In recognition of its outstanding ability to step up and stand out, uplifting student voices on campus, the Minneapolis College Student Senate was named Student Senate of the Year by LeadMN. An organization recognizing college students connecting for change, LeadMN represents the 180,000 two-year college students in Minnesota.

LeadMN empowers students to develop leadership skills to realize their potential, see beyond what they thought was possible for personal success, and to drive community-wide change. They acknowledged the resilience of Minneapolis College’s Student Senate members who managed significant turnover during the pandemic, rebuilding their team while holding true to the LeadMN values of empowerment, integrity, equity and inclusion.

“I am extremely grateful for the accomplishments of our team and for this honor,” said Student Senate Vice President Felicia “FoFo” Bristol who found herself alone on the Student Senate during the pandemic. “After we recruited Elena Williams and she joined the Senate, we banded together and rebuilt the outstanding team we have today from the ground up.”  

Student Senate President Elena Williams recognizes the hard work and dedication of the team. “We represent the many diverse student voices across Minneapolis College,” said Williams, who prides herself on ensuring students are heard by important influencers.

“We work with staff, faculty, lawmakers and the community to ensure students have what they need to succeed in their studies.” Williams shared that the Student Senate planned a wide array of activities during the past year despite the challenges the pandemic created. “We held a number of events online including a legislative advocacy boot camp and a tuition consultation roundtable, both first of their kind on campus.”

Bristol grew up living in North and South Minneapolis and was acutely aware of Minneapolis College. “I saw the transition of Minneapolis Community and Technical College to Minneapolis College at a focal point in history,” said Bristol who noted the school’s colors, like its students, symbolize resilience and greatness.

“Minneapolis College is about helping people who want to be successful, be successful. The College is supportive of diverse backgrounds and welcomes ideas and opinions. This was evident when the College welcomed the input of the Student Senate during the development of its equity statement, which reaffirms its commitment to equity, inclusion and supporting the success of all community members.”

“I am proud of the Minneapolis College Student Senate for their tremendous accomplishments and for being chosen for this award by LeadMN,” said Tonny Yang, Student Activities Coordinator and advisor to the Student Senate. “Even though we were operating within an exclusively virtual environment, the members were able to make friends, connect, grow and be successful.”

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