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Key Club: Developing a Heart to Serve

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Since 1915, Kiwanis International has created opportunities for children to be curious, safe and healthy regardless of the community in which they live. When you give a child the chance to learn, experience, dream, grow, succeed and thrive, great things can happen.

Here in Stockton, we have our own local club whose members have long answered the call to serve. When they first chartered in 1922, the Kiwanis Club of Stockton began its mission to support and develop community projects that would enrich the lives of children and families. Their vision is to build community capacity for greater service and greater leadership throughout the lifespan. This past year, the Kiwanis Club of Stockton celebrated its 100th anniversary and they look back on the impact it has had on our community.

Over the century, the Kiwanis Club of Stockton has focused its efforts and finances on providing over $1 million in scholarship, leadership and community service opportunities for 14 high school Key Club programs. Students from University of the Pacific were also involved in these service opportunities. Local students from all walks of life proudly volunteer with the mission and mindset promoting “Caring, our way of life.”

Key Club is a high school community service organization sponsored directly by Kiwanis Clubs with the belief that student members make their world a better place through community service. In doing so, they grow as individuals and as leaders by leading, summoning the courage to engage, and developing the heart to serve. While many high school service organizations exist, the Key Clubbers stand out with their spirit cheers.

The passion and drive to give back to others is truly the driving force behind what they do. Here in Stockton, high school students are provided the space to develop personal and professional skills in Key Club by getting involved with their community. Students learn about compassion, selflessness and making a difference that can make an impact no matter how big or small.

As a Kiwanis Key Club sponsor, the Kiwanis Club of Stockton supports two young Key Club Lieutenant Governors. Jamie Lynn Phan, 17, Middle College High School, and Angelika Irada, 17, Weston Ranch High School, are the residing leaders of the high school clubs in our area. There are two divisions, made up of a cluster of schools that has 887 students at 22 high schools throughout San Joaquin County.

The Key Club students volunteer regularly at local events or create volunteer service projects to address the needs of our city. This may consist of park cleanup restoration, writing letters to hospital patients, creating dog chew toys, gift wrapping, food/toy/can drives, school/city beautification, and much more. Key Club students know their volunteer services impact our community and the lives of others. This past year alone, the Key Club students in our area collectively reported over 5,900 community service hours and have raised over $10,000 for various non-profits charities. They serve with kindness, caring and compassion and truly have fun while giving back. The Key Club students develop skills and selflessness through their experience and use their involvement with the Kiwanis family as an asset when applying for colleges, scholarships and job opportunities.

The Key Club youth service leadership program is thankful for the Kiwanis Club of Stockton for continuing to collaborate and support our student leaders.

Want to get involved? New members are always welcome! The Kiwanis Club of Stockton meets weekly on Tuesdays at 12PM at Whirlows in Stockton. For more information, please contact Kristine Gibson, (209) 986-8946 or