Key Club International, a service leadership program of Kiwanis International, is the oldest and largest service organization for high school students, and gives its members opportunities to provide service, build character and develop leadership skills.
Started in California in the 1925, Key Club today thrives on more than 5,000 high school campuses with a total membership of 270,000 in 38 countries, including North America, the Caribbean nations, Central and South America, and most recently, Asia and Australia.
Key Club attributes its success to the fact that it is a student-led organization that teaches leadership through serving others. In other words, as members of the Kiwanis International family, Key Club members build themselves as they build their schools and communities.
Among the opportunities provided to members are:
- Leadership development
- Vocational guidance
- College scholarships
- Personal enrichment
- Value-added member benefit programs
- Liability insurance coverage
Originally, Key Club adopted as its motto, “We Build,” the same motto as its parent organization, Kiwanis International. In 1976, the program changed its motto to, “Caring—Our Way of Life,” to more clearly convey members’ reasons for helping others. Dues paid by every member fund Key Club, and its officers are high school leaders elected by the members at district and International conventions.
Key Club Structure
INTERNATIONAL: Key Club International encompasses all clubs within the group’s 33 organized districts and in foreign countries that are not included in any specific district. Key Club International is led by the International Board, which is composed of the International president, International vice president, and 11 International trustees, all students and active Key Club members.
DISTRICT: A district is normally defined by a state, a group of states, or nation and tends to match a similar Kiwanis district. Each district is chaired by a governor, elected by delegates at the district annual convention, and the District Board consisting of executive officers and lieutenant governors, either elected by delegates or appointed by the governor.
DIVISION: Each district is divided into territories called divisions, made up of various clubs. Each division has a lieutenant governor, a student leader who carries out the district’s policies and provides support to the clubs.
CLUB: Key Clubs are established in a high school or equivalent institution, or a community-based club may be chartered. Elected officers are president, one or more vice presidents, secretary, treasurer, editor, webmaster and one director from each class.
High school leaders from 38 countries unite every day to provide service in their homes, schools, and communities, completing more than 13 million hours of service. Key Clubbers work to help eliminate HIV/AIDS in Africa, stop premature birth, and battle for the rights of children in their communities. Key Club is currently represented in these locations around the globe:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Cayman Islands
- Costa Rica
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- St. Lucia
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- United Arab Emirates
- United States of America