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The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

Club Spotlight: Key Club Q&A

At Ames High, Key Club offers students the opportunity to engage with their community and learn through various leadership positions.
Key+Club+secretary+Carissa+Andorf+and+Key+Club+editor+Wenjun+Liu+pose+for+a+photo+at+ICON%2C+the+Key+Club+International+Convention+in+Anaheim%2C+California+in+2022.
Hannah Song
Key Club secretary Carissa Andorf and Key Club editor Wenjun Liu pose for a photo at ICON, the Key Club International Convention in Anaheim, California in 2022.

Hannah Song ‘24 is the 2023-24 club president of key club at the high school as well as a co-webmaster at the district level. She is responsible for communication, task delegation, and planning district events. Carissa Andorf ‘25 is the club secretary and serves as the Nebraska-Iowa district governor. As the Nebraska-Iowa governor Andorf also serves on the key club international board, which meets monthly and is organized into different task forces. 

The following interview has been condensed and edited for clarity. 

Tell me about how Key Club has allowed you to grow throughout your high school career.

Song: When most people think of Key Club, they think of a service organization, which it is, but I also think it’s very leadership-oriented. Key Club has really allowed me to expand my leadership skills through planning events, meetings, and having to listen to members and coordinate things. 

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Andorf: Similarly, Key Club has given me a lot of leadership opportunities, but I think, you know, going into Key Club just even talking at one of our key club meetings as a member — that was really nerve-wracking for me, but as I participated in more events and had more opportunities to speak in front of audiences, I was able to grow my public speaking skills. That’s huge in Key Club because of the different election processes that I’ve had to go through. 

What Key Club events have been favorites in the past?

Song: So an annual event that Ames holds, along with a lot of the International Club is Trick or Treat for UNICEF. So it’s dressing up, which is fun, and then instead of going around asking for candy we’ll ask for monetary donations. So this year we partnered with Start Strong Zambia, which is an organization that is helping fund educations and vaccinations for children in Zambia. Later on in the holiday season we’ll have cookie decorating which is where we as a club decorate cookies, and then we’ll go and donate them to the fire station, the hospital, or the police station. 

Andorf: On a district level the biggest event of the year for our district board is District Convention, also known as DCON. So, that is where we elect the next district board for that service year. There’s tons of workshops, we have keynote speakers, it’s really a great opportunity to meet people across the Nebraska-Iowa district and even run for higher office. It’s really educational but also super fun. Beyond that there is the international convention or ICON. Essentially it’s the same idea as District Convention, just on a larger scale. There’s really cool speakers and we get to meet people all across Key Club International. There’s also a ton of educational workshops that are typically run by district governors or members of the international board.

Tell me about Key Club and the Kiwanis Club in Ames.

Andorf: Kiwanis and Kiwanis Club in Ames supports a lot of what we do as key clubbers. So, for example, they pay for a portion of our dues that you have to pay in order to become an official member. So that’s one way that they support us. They also pay for a third of us going if anyone wants to go to District Convention, and then if any of us want to go to International 

Convention, they usually help pay for a portion of that. So they’re really, really supportive in helping us attend those opportunities. 

Key club members pose for a photo at the club’s 2022 cookie decorating volunteer event. Key Club hosts the event annually on the last day of school before winter break. (Wenjun Liu)

How do you see Key Club helping you in your future?

Song: When I came in as a freshman into high school, I knew I had this passion for service, but I didn’t know how to become involved in my community. So after joining Key Club, I noticed how service oriented I was and I saw people with similar passions as me. I hope to spread my passion to the younger kids at the high school. 

Andorf: Key Club has helped me become more organized and be able to work with a team. The communication skills I’ve learned will also really help me in the future. Public speaking is a huge, huge skill that I’m going to take away and then use in the future. That has been a really big one for me. 

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