National Key Club Week at PCHS
Park City High School’s Key Club will be celebrating community service with members from across the nation during Key Club Week, held every first full week in November.
Key Club is the largest high school service organization in the world and the largest club at PCHS, with about 125 official dues-paying members and another 85 club members who need to pay their dues.
The president of Key Club, Brianna Wilson, said the club is nice because students can choose what they like to do, whether it’s working with kids, helping at an office, or even baking cookies as its members did for this week’s Teacher Appreciation Day.
"The kids can earn service hours in a lot of different ways," scholarship advisor Dana Ardovino said. "On any given week, they can sign up for an array of activities."
Some service opportunities happen weekly like the Big Brothers and Big Sisters at McPolin Elementary School or the K-Kids meetings at Parley’s Park Elementary School.
K-Kids, like Key Club, is a program of the Kiwanis International, a global organization of volunteers who work to develop the world’s future leaders. Other programs include Circle K, on the college level, and Builders Club, at the middle school level.
Student volunteers from Key Club help lead the members of K-Kids in weekly meetings. Usually a parent advisor will help out at K-Kids meetings, but right now the club is in need of more adult mentors. Volunteers help provide supplies for meetings and support the student advisor with activities.
Many students choose to join Key Club because it looks great on college applications. "My middle name is resume building," Ardovino said.
She encourages freshmen to start the process early and get involved, whether that be with Key Club or one of the numerous other clubs available at the high school.
One of the initial reasons Wilson joined Key Club was because it is recognized by all colleges. But she didn’t just sit back and put in her minimum 36 service hours as an underclassman and 50 hours as a senior.
"I took on a leadership role from the start," Wilson said. She was a member as a freshman, then a sophomore representative, then the secretary, and now, as a senior, the president.
"The biggest things I’ve learned from the program are leadership skills, like being organized and knowing I can’t do it all and that I have to delegate," Wilson said. She said the club has also taught her valuable business and public-relations skills as well.
One of her greatest challenges, Wilson said, was just following in the footsteps of the previous president, Alexis Brown, who took the club from about 40 members to about 175 last year.
Key Club grew not only its membership last year, but also its activities and service projects, earning it the highest honor, the Single Service Platinum Award, plus eight other awards, at the annual Utah and Idaho district convention last year.
An important part of Key Club Week is creating awareness about the nationally chosen theme, which this year is Free the Children. The club will be showing a video on the school’s Miner Morning Show, as well as a radio segment on KPCW’s Miner Details, about inhumane child labor practices.
Another Key Club global initiative is working with Stepping Stones International, an organization founded by Utah-native Lisa Jamu and her husband, Styn. Through Stepping Stones, the PCHS club was able to raise enough money for Bano, an orphan in Botswana, to go to school. Wilson is also Bano’s pen-pal.
This summer, members of Key Club hope to visit Botswana and continue their volunteer work in schools there.
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