NEMASC and GHS student council stress leadership and community service


GHS student council members from every grade attended the NEMASC conference at Dracut High School last Thursday

CAROLINE ENOS, Staff Writer, Editor

Student council members have taken valuable leadership skills back to GHS after attending a North Eastern Massachusetts Association of Student Council conference last Thursday. 

The student councils who attended the conference also raised 400 winter coats for families in need. 

“NEMASC always stresses community service, just as Gloucester High does,” said student council adviser Rayenne Menery. “I was extremely proud of how Gloucester conducted itself at the conference.”

Over 500 student council members from 15 north eastern Massachusetts’ schools attended the conference at Dracut High School, where students were exposed to the importance of leadership and what it means to be a leader.

“I learned that student council is not just about fundraising, but also about being a student leader,” said freshmen class president Matthew Johnson.

The conference featured Johan Khalilian as the keynote speaker. From witnessing the horrible actions of his drug addict uncle, to being told after getting accepted to Chicago University to play basketball that he wouldn’t succeed in college, Khalilian spoke to the students about how growing up in a Chicago ghetto impacted his life and his perception of success.

“You have to be willing to put yourself out there knowing it might not all work out, and knowing it could all work out,” said Khalilian. “We need the courage, we need the kindness, and we need everything good that’s inside of us to create a world we want to live in.”

After listening to Khalilian, students participated in workshops pertaining to proper behavior on social media, public speaking, and a variety of other skills that will help them be effective leaders.

To end the day, seniors went to a seminar that would help them prepare for college, while the remainder of students went to a workshop about running for officer positions or sport captains, or to one about NEMASC’s summer camp opportunities. In these workshops, students were able to meet with other student councils and gain a broader knowledge of other schools and communities in the area. 

“I thought it was really interesting to see how all the different student councils in state approach situations,” said sophomore class representative Rebecca Dowd.