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STARS National Conference Hotline

Call - 720-593-4762


  • Join us for the

22nd annual STARS National Conference

When: Sunday, June 23th to Wednesday, June 26th
Where: University of Colorado – Colorado Springs



Presented by FRIENDS FIRST, the STARS NATIONAL CONFERENCE (SNC) has been held every summer in Colorado since 1994. Teens experience life on a college campus while building important life skills and learning to be positive role models in their communities.

SNC Goals:

1. Equip students with practical leadership skills that accentuate their strengths
2. To make events fun and developmentally appropriate
3. To provide opportunities for positive, healthy connections




    Participants gather twice a day for motivating rallies with skits, entertainment, and nationally acclaimed motivational speakers.


    Participants meet in small group discussions led by SNC staff. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and build a support network with others who are making healthy choices.


    Workshops are interactive, educational, and fun! At the beginning of the conference, participants select the workshops which they want to attend. Workshop categories include:

    • Relationships
    • Mentoring
    • Leadership
    • Communication
    • High-Risk Behavior Avoidance


    Every day participants will have time set aside to kick back and have fun! Three fantastic evening events in addition to some afternoon events, will give participants the opportunity to meet teens from all over the country.


    SNC 2019 will be held at the University of Colorado- Colorado Springs, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The campus has beautiful views of the spectacular Rocky Mountains. Conference accommodations will be suite-style dorm rooms on campus. Participants should fly to Denver International Airport (DIA). Driving time from the airport is about thirty minutes. Once you register for the conference, you will be sent information on how to get to the conference.


    Students entering eighth grade through 2018 high school graduates may attend as youth participants. If attending as a group, one adult chaperone must attend for every 10 teens.

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Sunday, June 23
1:30-3:00 p.m. Bus pick-up
3:00-5:00 p.m. Registration/Fun activity
5:30-6:30 p.m. Dinner
7:00-8:45 p.m. Opening Ceremony with Shaun Boothe
9:00-9:45 p.m. Family Groups
10:00-11:00 p.m. Fun Activity
9:30-11:00 p.m. Snack Shack
11:00 p.m. In dorms
11:30 p.m. Lights out

Monday, June 24

7:30-8:15 a.m. Breakfast
8:45-10:15 a.m. Large Group with 7 Project
10:25-11:25 a.m. Family Groups/ Workshops A
11:35 a.m.-12:35 p.m. Workshops A/ Family Groups
1:00-2:00 p.m. Lunch
2:30-3:30 p.m. Family Groups/ Workshops B
3:40-4:40 p.m. Workshops B/ Family Groups
5:30-6:30 p.m. Dinner
7:00-8:00 p.m. Large Group with 7 Project
8:10-9:00 p.m. Family Groups
9:00 p.m. -11:00 p.m. Fun Activity
9:30-11:00 p.m. Snack Shack
11:00 p.m. In dorms
11:30 p.m. Lights out

Tuesday, June 25

7:30-8:15 a.m. Breakfast
8:45-10:15 a.m. Large Group
10:25-11:25 a.m. Family Groups/ Workshops C
11:35 a.m.-12:35 p.m. Workshops C/ Family Groups
1:00-2:00 p.m. Lunch
2:00-5:00 p.m. Free Time
5:30-6:30 p.m. Dinner
7:00-8:00 p.m. Large Group with Aliyah Cook
8:10-9:00 p.m. Family Groups
9:00-11:00 p.m. Fun Activity
9:30-11:00 p.m. Snack Shack
11:00 p.m. In dorms
11:30 p.m. Lights out

Wednesday, June 26

7:30-8:15 a.m. Breakfast
8:45-10:15 a.m. Family Groups
10:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Pack/ Clean Room
12:00-1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:30-2:45 p.m. Closing Ceremony with Tay Anderson
3:00-3:30 p.m. Check-out
3:30-4:00 p.m. Bus


Shaun Boothe is an award-winning hip-hop artist, TEDx speaker and creator of ‘The Unauthorized Biography Series’. The Unauthorized Biography Series is a critically acclaimed musical project that celebrates the world’s greatest cultural icons through biographical rap songs – Repackaging History through Hip Hop. Each chapter of the series captures the legacy of a positive and influential iconic figure in a documentary-style music video. Icons featured in the series include Bob Marley, Muhammad Ali, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama, Bruce Lee, Oprah Winfrey, Tupac Shakur, James Brown Malala Yousafzai and more. In an industry where your live show can make you or break you, Shaun Boothe is renowned for his conceptual and highly Interactive performances – many of which have graced the opening stages of concerts for multi-platinum artists, including Nas, Lauryn Hill, Talib Kweli, and Snoop Dogg.


Tay Anderson is a proud union educator who has worked in Aurora and Denver Public Schools. Tay also served as a legislative aide in the Colorado House of Representatives. Tay is passionate about making the world a better place than the one he grew up in. He has worked on protecting women’s rights, African American rights, Latinx rights, LGBTQ+ rights, Indigenous rights, Muslim rights, and disabled persons’ rights. He has participated in numerous public demonstrations as well as conversations and meetings with school district leaders, state leaders, and members of Congress on social justice issues.


Phoenix Jackson is an award-winning business leader, corporate communication strategist, and expert in social entrepreneurship, based in Denver, Colorado. As the founder of Phoenix Affect, her integrated communications and PR firm, Phoenix has assisted corporate, not-for-profit organizations and high-profile media clients including professional athletes, entertainers and politicians with public reputation management and media training for the past 14 years. Phoenix’s calling is to guide individuals and organizations in achieving a powerful public image while making a standout impact on the marketplace. Phoenix recently launched Phoenix Affect News to offer a portal for entrepreneurs and leaders to gain inspiration, insight and knowledge into their journey as business professionals. Phoenix has been recognized for her intellect and results-driven leadership approach, which has led to many accolades and honors, including the 25 Top Leaders in Denver for Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, Women Making History Award, Denver Business Journal’s Making Their Mark, Denver’s 40 Under 40, University of Denver’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award and many more.


7 Project is high energy, fast paced, and in your face multimedia presentation that addresses the issues students are dealing with on a day-to-day basis. Everything changes quickly to keep students engaged. Presenters communicate specific topics, transitioning to videos in between each topic. Students will experience a loud, crazy, fun, and inspiring message that will challenge them to dream big, make wise choices, and be people of character.


Elevate My Voice, Your Voice, YOUTH VOICE
Aliyah Cook is 2019 high school graduate who has attended 11 FRIENDS FIRST STARS National Conferences. Aliyah is a youth advocate who has been elevating her voice since the age of 8 which led to House Bill 1411-75 aka Aliyah’s Law. Aliyah’s goal in life is to be a voice for the often silenced. Aliyah will attend Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia in the fall to study International Business.


This week we have a full slate of powerful workshops that will help you build important life skills and motivate you to introduce these great tips into your communities!

In these workshops you will learn about:

- MentorLife
- Future Focus
- Self-Awareness

What workshops do I attend, you ask? That’s up to you. You can check out the workshop descriptions on the following pages and find out which ones interest you most. But REMEMBER, you must attend one workshop during each of your workshop sessions. Get ready to lead, succeed, relate, and share as we train to...

Live a MentorLife!

Monday Workshops

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    It’s your life…C.A.R.E. about it!

    In this workshop, students will be encouraged to take an honest look inside themselves and evaluate where they would rank themselves in four different characteristics: Courage, Attitude, Respect, and Empathy.

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    Launching Yourself to Success

    In rocket science, it takes trying, failing, and revisiting assumptions to send humans to space; similarly, it takes a collection of courage, patience, and self-awareness to launch ourselves to success. Come join us for a light-hearted activity led by Dr. V on the life lessons she’s gathered from her work to send humans to the Moon and how the same concepts apply to achieving success, no matter who you are.

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    Let's Talk

    Now, more than ever, it is important to be able to stay in conversation with people, even if the conversations feel tense. This interactive workshop will explore why it’s important to engage with those you may not see “eye to eye” with and how to have those conversations while still remaining friends.

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    Outline Your Future- Résumé Writing

    In this workshop, youth will learn; the categories to be addressed in a résumé, the amount of information that should be included, the difference between an amateur and a professional résumé, the importance of a cover letter, and interview tips including the one word to avoid.

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    Building the Future of STARS

    In this workshop, students will have an interactive experience with the new STARS 3.0 curriculum. This lesson will create an environment where youth can put their skills to the test and have the opportunity to offer their opinions and feedback. The feedback given during this session will be used to ensure that the newest version of the STARS curriculum inspires mentors and mentees to trust others, grow in community, and dream big.

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    How to Infuse a Caring Climate into Your School

    Why have the suicide rates increased? Come and hear how the B.I.O.N.I.C. Team (Believe It Or Not I Care) - empowered by students on school campuses - prevents students from falling through the cracks by letting them know peers care during the tough times in life. Learn why over 950 schools across the world have inquired about starting a B.I.O.N.I.C. Team.

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    MyGraytions is an experience that allows you to see the world in every ambiguous hue. It is a reclamation of you and your process. MyGraytions is also a lesson that teaches you how to reconcile with yourself and your story, to understand that you define your "normal," and that your perspective is your superpower. Use it.

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    Walking the Talk: Discovering Your Leadership Super Power

    Have you ever wondered what it takes to become a leadership superhero? Together we will answer that question and more in this interactive 60-minute session. Participants should come prepared to engage in a variety of activities and conversations geared to unlock their unique leadership potential.

Tuesday Workshops

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    Essential Colors

    Using a psychology-based model, Essential Colors gives participants the tools to solve their “people issues” such as conflict resolution, effective communication, team building, organizational culture, and diversity.

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    How Real World Report Cards Work

    Learn how to set yourself up for financial success by understanding the ins and outs of credit. Credit impacts a lot more than loans, including access to housing, utilities, and post-graduate education. We’ll cover how building and using credit works, what’s in a credit report, and how credit scores are calculated.

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    Getting Connected During Your Next Schooling Journey

    Many youth are dealing with the angst of starting a new journey at their school while also trying to figure out how they fit in. We explore different ideas about fitting in and how they can figure out what they should involve themselves in to accomplish their current dream.

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    Authentic Youth & Adult Partnerships

    This workshop will explore the traits of authentic youth and adult partnerships. Youth will learn how to advocate for authentic partnerships with adults and why adults should see value in these partnerships. Youth will be given the tools to understand when partnerships are authentic as well as the ability to help adults support them.


At these mandatory parent meetings, parents will be given greater detail from FRIENDS FIRST in regards to their child’s participation in the STARS National Conference. In addition to conference orientation, families will be provided dinner as well as a presentation from a guest speaker.


  • Parents are required to pick one orientation to attend (youth SNC participants are welcome to attend but not required)

  • Spanish interpretation is available at all events

  • Food & drink will be provided

  • A confirmation email and reminder will be sent prior to event to confirm location, times, etc.


Tuesday 6/4/19 from 6pm-8pm
Gateway High School
1300 S. Sable Blvd.
Aurora, CO 80012

Thursday 6/6/19 from 6pm-8pm
Bison Ridge Rec. Center
13905 E. 112th Ave
Commerce City, CO 80022

Thursday 6/6/19 from 6pm-8pm
Sand Creek Library
1821 South Academy
Colorado Springs, CO 80916

Saturday 6/8/19 from 9:30am-11:30am
Bear Valley Library
5171 W. Dartmouth Ave.
Denver, CO 80236

Saturday 6/8/19 from 6pm-7:30pm
Patrick A. Lucero Library
1315 E 7th St.
Pueblo, CO 81001

Tuesday 6/11/19 6pm-8pm
Adams City Middle School
4451 E. 72nd Ave.
Commerce City, CO 80022

Tuesday 6/11/19 from 6pm-7:30pm
Lamb Public Library
2525 S. Pueblo Blvd.
Pueblo, CO 81005

Wednesday 6/12/19 5:30-7:30pm (Spanish only)
Westminster- College Hill Library
3705 W 112th Ave.
Westminster, CO 80031

Thursday 6/13/19 6pm-8pm
Manual High School
1700 E. 28th Ave.
Denver, CO 80205


Thank you for your interest in serving as a volunteer for the STARS National Conference. Our goal is to give each volunteer a rewarding experience while working towards fulfilling our mission of educating and mentoring teens to make positive life choices and develop healthy relationships.

We require all potential volunteers to go through an assessment and background screening before becoming an active SNC volunteer. In addition, each applicant simply needs to choose which volunteer role(s) they would like to fulfill and commit to it during the required duration of the task. The roles are listed on page 3 and 4 of this application.

Due to the nature of our work, volunteers must successfully pass a criminal background check. FRIENDS FIRST does not utilize as a volunteer any individual who has been convicted of a crime that (a) victimizes children, or (b) is sexual in nature, regardless of the amount of time that has elapsed since such conviction. In addition, criminal convictions or other misconduct that involves violence, fraud, significant theft, or a motor vehicle incident involving drugs or alcohol, any of which having occurred within the past 5 years, will disqualify the individual. FRIENDS FIRST reserves the right to determine, in its sole discretion, whether the past or present conduct of an applicant, employee, or volunteer would violate this policy or create a conflict of interest. Please contact us with any questions related to past convictions and/or our background screening process.

Our team is happy to answer any questions or address any concerns that you may have.

  • Contact: Cheryl Fair
  • cfair@friendsfirst.org
  • 720.981.9193
  • Please return volunteer applications to Cheryl Fair, cfair@friendsfirst.org
  • PRIVACY & PROTECTION OF INFORMATION: Security of information is extremely important to us. All information submitted is considered confidential.


All participants in the 22nd annual STARS National Conference must accept the below disclaimers to participate in the conference. By registering for this conference you accept these disclaimers. Please review before registering.




During the last 20 years, thousands of leaders from across the U.S. have made coming to SNC a priority because the conference provides life-skills, gives them a taste of college life and most importantly, builds lasting relationships with like-minded peers. The conference is a safe place for students to be themselves and find support and training as mentors.

FRIENDS FIRST is always looking for businesses or individuals to make a difference in lives of teens. Scholarships to the STARS National Conference is a great way to show support! If you are interested in opportunities, please reach out. We would love to hear from you.

For sponsorship opportunities, contact:

Cheryl Fair