Alhassan Susso
2019 New York State Teacher of the Year

Keynote Topics:

Developing the Right Mindset and Attitude for Success

Turning Adversity into Opportunity

Development of a Clear and Compelling Vision for the Future

Creating Teacher Leaders

Relationship-Based Approaches to Teaching

Pivot: Rethinking the Purpose of Education

Maslow before Bloom

Incorporating Social-Emotional Learning with Academic Work

Relationships: The Difference Maker

Dealing with Difficult Students

Equity and Empowerment in the Classroom

Creating a Joyful Classroom

Alhassan Susso is an educator, author and speaker who has devoted his career to transforming the lives of young people facing difficulties. An immigrant from West Africa, Alhassan came to America as a poor teenager coping with a rare eye disease with gradual vision loss which he still copes with as a teacher.

Living with this obstacle, Alhassan seeks to expand the worldview of young minds through the development of essential life skills necessary to succeed academically, socially, professionally and economically.

He is the author of a motivational memoir, The Light of Darkness: The Story of the Griots' Son, which traces his journey to America as a nearly blind teenager and his trials and triumphs becoming American, while maintaining his deep African roots. This book is now being used in several schools in the U.S. to teach a variety of topics including immigration, overcoming adversities, practicing compassion etc. It also enables teachers to effectively implement his strategies in teaching new immigrant students in their schools.

Alhassan is the Founder and Director of the Inspiring Teens’ Future program at the International Community High School. The Inspiring Teens' Future (ITF) program provides students with the social and emotional development skills necessary to succeed academically, socially, professionally and economically. The program is built on five essential skills: Mindset and Emotional Mastery, Vision Setting, Interpersonal Communications, Leadership, and Financial Management. This program has taken his school from a 31% graduation rate to 81.2% within 5 years.



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Alhassan Susso was selected as one of the top 50 educators worldwide for the Varkey Foundation's Global Teacher Prize.