To the Kiwanis Cal-Nev-Ha Foundation,
Last year, as a senior in high school, I was fortunate enough to receive the Kiwanis CNH Foundation Scholarship. This honor meant more to me than I originally thought it would; it showed me that I was appreciated by Kiwanis International, just as I appreciated the organization as well.
Kiwanis taught me valuable skills throughout high school, first through service within the community, and later by granting me the opportunity to develop my leadership skills as vice president of my school’s key club.
When I first started out as vice president I was in my first ever leadership role; I was unsure of myself, I lacked confidence, and I didn’t know how to guide others. However, as my term progressed, I progressed and excelled in my position. I got the opportunity to run several meetings, I formed relationships with general members, and I played a crucial part in planning volunteer events for our club to attend.
This did not come easily at first; I had to push myself out of my comfort zone in order to talk in front of large groups of people, but by the time new elections came around, I was comfortable with public speaking. In addition, I gained confidence in expressing my ideas; if I had a specific event I wanted to make happen, I learned how to voice my opinion despite what others may think. This improved my confidence and my ability to benefit from constructive criticism.
Since starting college, I have become involved in several clubs and have received leadership positions. Specifically in Circle K, I serve as Executive Assistant for the Vice President of Service; this is especially important to me because I am able to put in time and effort into the same Organization that I did all throughout high school: Kiwanis. In board meetings, I exhibit skills I learned from being Vice President, specifically my ability to voice new ideas has been beneficial for both me as a board member, and for the rest of the club, which benefits from the new options I present. I would not have been able to run for this position with the confidence I did if it wasn’t for my invaluable experience in Key Club.
Furthermore, I serve as Historian for the Undeclared College Council at my school now. I got this position purely for being independent and self-assured; I attended their weekly meetings, showed enthusiasm for their events, and participated as much as I could in discussion. Several weeks later, I was offered the executive board position. I did not realize the importance of participating in meetings without key club, if I had not been a member, I may have never shared input at meetings and thus, never would have been offered a position.
I thank Kiwanis International tremendously for the monumental impact it’s had on me, and for the countless of relationships I’ve formed with other members. I am excited to see what part Kiwanis plays in my future endeavors.