During the past three days, I laughed, cheered, and saw thousands of high school students from California, Nevada, and Hawaii come together to celebrate the past year of service and welcome the dawn of a new era. The 67th annual Cali-Nev-Ha Key Club Convention was an exhausting, hectic, inspiring, and awesome experience that has polished my perspective of our role as part of the biggest philanthropic student organization in the world.
Despite an average of 5 hours of sleep per night, my hyperactivity was fueled by the buzzing energy of the CNH bees around me. It is likely that some of the friendliest people on this planet are part of the Kiwanis family. This past weekend, I was awestruck by the massive amount of people attended DCON and their seemingly never-ending enthusiasm. Being around thousands of people who share a passion for service, who belt out the “How Do You Feel?” cheer without hesitation, who give out “free hugs”, who wave at strangers and strike up conversations on the spot, who know that being a Key Clubber is something that sticks with you forever – sharing those three days together made me realize the sheer impact we have on the world. We have already raised thousands of dollars for charities, eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus in several countries in South Africa, and spread our love of helping others throughout our community. We are members of something greater than an international organization. We are leaders, teachers, motivators, and world-changers.
For many of us, these accomplishments didn’t come without hours dedicated to planning projects, organizing volunteers, and speaking to local event coordinators among other duties. In the past weekend, I was able to see first-hand how the culmination of our efforts results in a greatness that can only be achieved by a positive group of young people set on making a difference. District Convention has rekindled my excitement for the beginning of a new Key Club year – a chance to continue our long tradition of serving and fundraising but also to explore new projects and meet new people. I know that this upcoming year will bring a plethora of exciting events, and I am humbled to serve our school club as President for another term. This is an end; this is a beginning; this is an opportunity to make the changes we wish to see in the world.