I joined Key Club as a really timid freshman. That’s how most of us start out, right? I went into the club thinking that I would get a few service hours, go to a couple of general meetings, and that would be it. I didn’t join looking for a huge commitment, but I guess that’s the beauty of Key Club.
Unbeknownst to me, the minute I joined Key Club was the minute that I would begin to learn what it meant to be truly passionate and to be vocal for what I believed in. Until that point, I wasn’t really using my mind to think outside the box. I went with the flow and thought that was the entire point. I didn’t think that the organizations I joined in high school would really mean much — it was just high school. But Key Club showed me what it meant to be dedicated to something and to stand by it. Insults to the club’s mission were jabs at me and Key Club’s goals to eliminate maternal neonatal tetanus became my goals.
I learned how to stand in front of people who were otherwise disinterested and let them know how strongly I felt about Key Club and what it stood for. My high school career could have easily turned out monotonous and one-track minded. Instead it became a chance for me to know what it meant to stand for what I valued and to not become swayed by what others thought.
High school may be a stepping stone but that didn’t mean it didn’t teach me a lot for my first year of college. I now sit in my college dorm four years after I signed my name on the Key Club sign-up sheet at my school and I truly wonder where my values would lie without Key Club. Even though I’m miles and miles away from home, I know that I have a community to return to and a family I can turn to when I’m having a hard time.
Now I keep in mind during my first year here to join organizations because I truly care about their mission and because I’m always reaching for self-improvement and progression.
Key Club was four years of my life and four years well spent. And even as I retired from my Key Club presidency, Key Club was still so gracious to award me a scholarship from the Kiwanis CNH Foundation that would help in many ways, especially to adjust to a new place like Massachusetts where the winter chill is admittedly quite intimidating.
2016 Scholarship Recipient