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Proud Moment – Manchester Proud’s 3rd Annual Student Volunteer Award

At the Tuesday, May 26, Board of School Committee meeting, Manchester Proud presented the 3rd Annual Student Volunteer Award to 4 deserving Manchester School District high school students. The award, which includes a $500 prize, was created to recognize Manchester School District students who show exceptional commitment to volunteerism.

The award winners for 2024, are:

  • Patrick Vachon, senior, Manchester Memorial High School
  • Helena Florek, senior, Manchester Memorial High School
  • Vick Mahindru, senior, Manchester West High School
  • Jenna Graf, junior, Manchester West High School

The students met with Mayor Ruis in his office prior to the presentation. 

The recipients were selected from all those who applied for the award and received endorsement from an advisor in the schools or community. Katie LaBranche, chair of the Manchester Proud volunteer Council said, “We are proud of all the applicants, especially the award winners, who exemplify the many Manchester students who volunteer in their schools, neighborhoods and community every day of the year. They represent the very best of our city and its public schools.”

“All students who attend Manchester public high schools are eligible to apply.  Every submission requires an application filled out by the student in which they outline their volunteer experiences and respond to several questions, along with a recommendation from an adult who can vouch for their service.  Grades were not a consideration in the judging.” 

More information on the honorees follows. 

Patrick Vachon

Patrick Vachon is a senior at Manchester Memorial High School. He stated that his goal is “to improve Manchester as much as possible, especially Memorial High School for the incoming classes so they can enjoy it as much as I did during the four years of high school.“

Patrick’s advisor noted his volunteer work in his neighborhood, helping neighbors who cannot maintain their properties, among multiple other volunteer activities.

After graduation, Patrick will attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.

Helena Florek

Helena Florek is a senior at Manchester Memorial High School. She served as President of Best Buddies, helping to bring students with and without disabilities together to, in her words, “create unique friendships. Through these actions, Memorial High School has become a more welcoming and accepting place for those students with a disability.”

Her advisor supported her selection by saying, “Helena’s participation and leadership in the Memorial High School Best Buddies program is just one example of her character, commitment and drive to be the best student, friend, volunteer and leader she can be. I have no doubt that Helena will go on to do amazing things in college and continue to volunteer and spread inclusion.”

After graduation, Helena will attend St. Michael’s College in Colchester, VT.

Vick Mahindru

Vick Mahindru is a senior at Manchester West High School. 

Vick stated that his motivation to volunteer in many ways comes from the example of mentors who have inspired him to serve the community, regardless of the backgrounds, culture, gender or race of others, so that all can achieve the American Dream, and “leave the world a better place.”

Vick’s extensive volunteer service was cited by his advisor as follows, “I reserve my highest recommendation to Vick Mahindru as one of the most likely to succeed, one of the brightest students, one of the highest achievers and one of the nicest people to come into my classroom. He will more than repay your trust and support your scholarship’s mission with his willingness to learn, participate, and lead.” 

After graduation, Vick will attend St. Anselm’s in Manchester, NH.

Jenna Graf

Jenna Graf is a junior at Manchester West High School.

Jenna emphasized that helping those in need, rather than calculating volunteer hours, is what is important in volunteering, especially when it can create a “safe space for people who have a hard time reaching out for help.”

Jenna’s Manchester West High School GEAR UP Advisor, in supporting her application, stressed that Jenna has served as Junior Class officer, and photographer for the yearbook club. “Jenna isn’t an athlete but doesn’t miss a game so that she can get the best photos of her student-athlete peers. She is very active in the Key Club and eager to volunteer for any task/ project that needs to be done. This includes planning & setting up for school events, nominating others for leadership positions, Weststock, and so much more. Jenna is humble, kind, generous, and empathetic to others.“

Jenna will be entering her senior year at Manchester West High School in the fall.

Proud Moment: 2nd Annual Championship Competition

Proud Moment: Memorial and West both present at BioTrek’s Second Annual Championship Competition 🌟 Congratulations to both teams for their impressive presentations!

From ARMI:

“BioFabUSA created BioTrek, a project-based learning program, to inform, attract, inspire and recruit students.

Developed by BioFabUSA, the program rests on three pillars: engagement with advanced technologies, familiarization with the principals of entrepreneurship and exposure to the education and career pathways that lead into the advanced manufacturing sector. These focus areas are wrapped around a student-led, design-thinking approach that lets participants concentrate on a problem area that holds real meaning for them and apply what they learn about technology and entrepreneurship to a real-world challenge.

Through the research and work associated with the program, students learn how to approach and solve complex problems and communicate their findings to a specific audience. Field trips to companies and universities help students learn how to interact with industry advisors, provide perspective on the professional opportunities available in the advanced manufacturing and technology sectors and increase awareness of the education pathways required to work in these fields.”

Test Event

this is demo event for testing

Manchester Proud Update – A Fresh New Look

Manchester Proud is pleased to announce the relaunch of its website and community portal, “The Compass”, https://www.manchesterproud.org/. The new website has a new modern design and improved user experience. The revamped site now features a community calendar, and a centralized hub for sorting through and discovering local events and opportunities.

The updated website reflects Manchester Proud’s commitment to serving the community and fostering a sense of connection among residents. Key enhancements include:

  • New Design: The website has been redesigned with a contemporary aesthetic, making it visually engaging and easy to navigate.
  • Translation: The website can easily be translated into a variety of languages for ease of the reader.
  • Mobile-Friendly: Optimized for use on all devices, the site ensures residents can access information on the go.
  • “The Compass”: Updated and expanded with new community and business partners.
  • Community Calendar: The standout feature of the relaunch, the community calendar allows users to explore events by date, category, and location, making it simple to find activities and opportunities to get involved.
  • Streamlined Navigation: Improved site structure and menus help users quickly find the information and resources they need.
  • Engaging Content: The site offers insightful articles, news, and stories about community initiatives and projects.

“We’re excited to unveil our refreshed website to the Manchester community,” said Lauren Boisvert, Communications Director at Manchester Proud. “The Compass is a valuable tool for families to stay informed about resources and local events. We’re confident this new platform will encourage greater participation and connection within our community.”

Manchester Proud invites residents to explore the new website and take advantage of the Compass to discover upcoming events and opportunities.

Proud Moment – Manchester West High School FBLA

Manchester West High School FBLA Chapter Shines at State Leadership Conference

The recent FBLA State Leadership Conference held on April 2 and 3, 2024, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Manchester, NH, was not just a gathering of students; it was a showcase of talent, dedication, and innovation. Among the vibrant array of participants, the FBLA student chapter from Manchester West High School stood out for their remarkable achievements and contributions.

Comprising students driven by a passion for business and leadership, the FBLA chapter at Manchester West High School has been actively involved in various programs to support state activities set by student officers. Their commitment is not just limited to their school but extends across the state, where they join 34 other chapters from different schools, each bringing their unique skills and energy to the table.

At the heart of FBLA activities lie competitions that challenge students in diverse fields such as accounting, job interviewing, personal finance, web design, and public speaking. These competitions not only test their knowledge and skills but also foster camaraderie and collaboration among chapters.

During the State Leadership Conference, participants not only competed but also received feedback on their performance throughout the year. Despite financial constraints that hindered their continuing journey to nationals, the Manchester West High School chapter celebrated their progress with pride.

Deepasha, Vice President of the Manchester West High School Chapter, reflected on her experience, expressing gratitude for the opportunity to witness her friends’ accomplishments. Her dedication and leadership qualities were further recognized when she successfully ran for a position on the State Board. With a passion for improving school culture, Depasha proposed a state project aimed at fostering school spirit and unity.

Deepasha’s journey to the State Board was supported by her campaign manager, Varique, whose collaboration resulted in visually striking campaign materials and a themed booth adorned with symbols of nature. The chapter’s solidarity was evident as members sported butterfly pins, symbolizing their support for Deepasha’s campaign.

Behind their achievements lies consistent effort and dedication. The chapter meets weekly to strategize and plan activities, resulting in accolades such as the “Threads of Hope” award for their outstanding contribution to community service. Through innovative initiatives like social media promotions and engaging events, they have successfully increased their membership despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

However, none of this would be possible without the support of their advisor, Debbie Stratton, and the Blue Knights Foundation. Fundraising efforts including bake sales, hot chocolate sales, and jeans 50/50 have been instrumental in funding their activities and ensuring broader participation.

Recognition at the State Leadership Conference further validated their hard work and dedication. Deepasha’s first-place win in Intro to Public Speaking and the duo of Nistha and Prakriti’s victory in website design exemplify their talent and collaborative spirit.

Nistha shared insights into their creative process, emphasizing the synergy of their skills in developing a website that serves a noble cause. Their success not only reflects their individual abilities but also highlights the strength of teamwork within the chapter.

As the Manchester West High School FBLA chapter continues to grow and excel, their journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring young leaders everywhere. With their unwavering commitment to excellence and service, they are poised to make a lasting impact not just within their school but throughout the community and beyond.