Berlin High student competes in National STAR Event competition

BERLIN — Berlin High School representatives were among the more than 8,000 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America members, advisers, alumni and guests from across the country gathered in San Diego, Calif., for the 2016 National Leadership Conference. The theme of this year’s conference was “empowered,” which inspired attendees to make the right choices and commit themselves to making a positive impact within their families, schools, FCCLA and communities.

The meeting provided members with the opportunity to attend leadership and program training, hear national speakers, meet the National Executive Council, explore colleges and careers, and impact a city with FCCLA power. Mathew Demers from Berlin High School, took part in Students Taking Action with Recognition Event competitions at the conference.

FCCLA’s STAR Events are based on the belief that every student is a winner. Competition, evaluation and recognition all stress cooperation as the basis of success. Both youth and adults work together to manage the events and serve as evaluators of the participants. Throughout the year, FCCLA members tackle issues such as teen violence prevention, traffic safety, family issues, career exploration and much more. FCCLA programs and competitions enrich student learning, improve self-esteem and serve students with a range of ability levels, economic situations and cultural influences.

“Competing in a STAR event was amazing. It gave me the chance to learn presentation skills as well as building up my confidence. Having the chance to go to nationals was something I will never forget,” said Demers.

FCCLA offers over 30 STAR Events. These events, which include early childhood education, job interview and sports nutrition, among others, represent college and career readiness skills taught in family and consumer sciences classroom. Members compete at the state and national level. This year, Demers was among over 4,500 STAR Event participants who competed in San Diego, Calif. Demers competed in the event National Programs in Action. His project focused on his and the chapter's work with the food drive for St. Vincent DePaul and working with other groups to start a food pantry at Berlin High School. Demers received a silver medal in the event.

Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, is a dynamic and effective national student organization that helps young men and women become leaders and address important personal, family, work and societal issues through Family and Consumer Sciences education.

FCCLA is unique among youth organizations because its programs are planned and run by members, and it’s the only career and technical in-school student organization with careers that support families as its central focus. Participation in national programs and chapter activities helps members become strong leaders in families, careers and communities. For more information on FCCLA, contact Elaine Connary at (603) 752-4122 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Demers' attendance at the national FCCLA conference would not have been possible without the strong support from the school and community. They thanked everyone who donated at the road-toll on June 18. They also thanked the following business, organizations and individuals for contributing so that Demers could become “Empowered” at the conference to develop his skills to further help the community: Absolute Power sports, All Terrain Auto, Auto North, Androscoggin Valley Hospital, Bob Chapman, Davis Tree Expert Company, Demers Property Maintenance, Kelly Logging, Tim Morin Construction, Verizon and H&R Block.

Mathew FCCLA San DiegoMathew Demers from Berlin High School, took part in Students Taking Action with Recognition Event competitions at the conference. (COURTESY PHOTO)