STARS National Conference Celebrates 20th Year This June

FRIENDS FIRST’s annual leadership & mentoring conference hits ‘Platinum’ milestone

Denver, CO (June 6, 2017) – This year marks the 20th anniversary of FRIENDS FIRST’s annual teen leadership and mentoring event, the STARS National Conference (SNC20). The conference is set for June 14-17 at Regis University, and is expected to again bring together more than 300 teens from across Colorado and the U.S.

FRIENDS FIRST’s teen educational and mentoring programs culminate each year at SNC with a weeklong slate of activities, interactive workshops, team building exercises and engaging speakers. (What kind of skills/tools do the kids come away with?) This year’s theme, “The Platinum Experience,” Not only celebrates the two-decade landmark, but also highlights the properties of the element on the Periodic Table that make up a good mentor – human qualities like resiliency, strength and individuality.

While FRIENDS FIRST has evolved over the years, the results of SNC remain largely the same as they were at the inaugural conference in 1998, when it was a small gathering in Estes Park with just 10 participants.

“Anyone who has attended or is familiar with SNC will tell you the same thing – the conference brings teens together for a life-changing experience,” says Elycia Cook, FRIENDS FIRST executive director. “It’s amazing that we’ve been doing this for 20 years, and we’re thrilled to celebrate all we’ve accomplished during that time this June while continuing to provide students with great tools to become leaders and mentors.”

Lead speakers for SNC20 include Kemba Smith, Tory Gant, Shaun Hays and Dr. Ryan Ross. Each presenter is selected based on their expertise in the following areas: Leadership, Mentoring, Relationships and Avoiding High-Risk Behaviors.

Public Events There will be two public events that accompany SNC20, as FRIENDS FIRST works to share their work with more in the community.

  • An SNC Alumni Reunion will be held from 8-10 p.m., on Friday in the Main Café at Regis as an opportunity to remember past conferences and give former participants the chance to network with peers.

  • Parent Engagement Workshops will be held on the last day of the conference to provide tools for parents to learn how to better communicate with their teens, Saturday, June 17 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., upstairs in Claver Hall. Four speakers will lead workshops intended to give parents tools to improve communication with their teen relevant to the issues they face today such as drug use, sexual relationships and social media. These seminars are free and open to all parents in the community, even if they do not have a student attending the conference. This year's speakers will be Lynn Riemer, Andrea Mosby, Candice Bataille and David Galvan.

Visit to learn more.

About FRIENDS FIRST FRIENDS FIRST, founded in 1993, educates and mentors teens to make positive life choices and develop healthy relationships through various teen and community programs offered locally and throughout the U.S. For more information about FRIENDS FIRST and its programs please call 720.981.9193 or email


#news #Mentoring #20thAnniversary #Impactsofmentoring #MentorLife #SNC20 #anniversary

27 views0 comments