What am I thankful for? The oldest and largest student-led organization that has taught and given me so much. To keep this short, I will break this down into three short stories, and what I am specifically thankful for. So, grab some ice cream and enjoy my PLOG!
Where It All Started:
My journey all started with my older sister, who convinced me to join Key Club. Not knowing what this organization consisted of other than easy community service hours, I decided to take upon this unknown journey as a Freshman. My first meetings, if I can be completely honest with you, were quite boring. But the countless service projects that I volunteered for made it worthwhile. Not knowing what a DCM was, I decided to attend my first August Bonfire DCM. When I first stepped foot on the sandy beach of Mukilteo, I was welcomed by Jessica Bae, who was the Lieutenant Governor of Division 21. I immediately felt a warm welcome amongst a group of individuals from all over the division. Without Jessica, I would have never known what Key Club was like on a larger level. Since then, I was inspired to come out to every single DCM, and there, I met others such as Sea Choi, Andrew Baek, and Linda Thai who helped me build up my passion for Key Club. Thus, inspiring me to run for President of Mariner Key Club.
Mariner Key Club:
Serving as the President of Mariner Key Club was an unforgettable journey full of bitter-sweet memories. I felt both a compelling mixture of being conflicted, but felt joy simultaneously. I became passionate about my position and decided to make the most of it before my term came to an end. This resulted in me coming out to monthly Kiwanis meetings, sending out personal invitations to nearly everyone I saw in the hallway, wearing dope Key Club spirit gear, and staying after school for countless of hours, making posters to advertise Key Club. As a result, my clubs Kiwanis family strengthened, membership doubled from 62 to 124 members, brought home a DCON award, and received highest attendance to DCMs all broke Mariner Key Club history. I thought to myself, I am so in love and thankful for this organization, but what should I do now? How can I serve this organization that had profoundly changed my life?
District Convention 2017:
As my term came to an end, I realized that I wanted to run for something higher. Everyone encouraged me to run for Lieutenant Governor. But, I felt as though that did not seem the right role for me. I found myself choosing District Treasurer because of its role in finance and membership growth. I thought that this position was best suited for me because of my prior experience with managing my home club and doubling my membership. Thus, I practiced day and nights with friends, staying up countless of nights, reciting my Key Club speech over and over again, and being bombarded with challenging questions that could possibly come up during caucusing. I congratulated Brian for a successful campaign and found myself quickly leaving the room after the announcement was made. Ashley Vo, Brian Egger, my faculty advisor Mr.Bayles, and my Kiwanis advisor Rachel Kittle came up and comforted me when I lost my election. Many Key Clubbers came up to me afterwards, congratulated me on a successful campaign, and told me that I inspired them to run for higher office. Knowing the fact that students came up to me after my loss drove me to apply for Membership Growth & Reactivation Chair, which I now proudly serve as.
So, What Am I Thankful For?
I am thankful for Cindy Mach, for inspiring me to join Key Club. I am thankful for Jessica Bae, for inspiring me to become more involved. I am thankful for Sea Choi, Andrew Baek, and Linda Thai, for always being there for me during my term as Key Club President. I am thankful for Ashley Vo, Brian Egger, Scott Bayles, and Rachel Kittle, for being there at my lowest during District convention. I am thankful for Andy He, Aasiya Islam and the countless of others, for coming up to me at District Convention, not knowing who I was but to inform me that I had inspired them, and encouraged me to apply for committee chair. I am thankful for everyone on the ‘17-’18 district board (special shoutout to Dmitri, Lily, Nhu, Ishu, Danielle, Heli, Vivia, Andrew, Andy, and Casey), for helping and encouraging me throughout my term as MGRC. Finally, I am thankful for Key Club International, for being my second home and the organization that I became so passionately involved in, and for profoundly changing my perspective on the world. This one is for you, Key Club!