With the intent to join a “prestigious” club similar to the National Honor Society (NHS), junior Shana Xia signed up for Key Club her freshman year during the annual club fair. In ninth grade, she held the position of Freshmen Class Director serving as the link between her class and the Key Club Executive board.
“The first time I met her, I was interviewing her for the Key Club Freshmen Class Director job,” former Co-President of Key Club Bella Ramirez said. “I was Secretary and at the time we were going through all the freshmen. Competition wise everyone was really strong, but Shana showed herself as someone who was really approachable and professional.”
The more time Xia spent in Key Club and its atmosphere, the more she fell in love with the people involved and the many opportunities Key Club offers to its members.
“Key Club, to me, is so much more than just a ‘service organization,’ like many people refer to it as. Although that’s an integral part to what Key Club is, I feel like it doesn’t fully encompass the nature of Key Club,” she said.
“ There is no other club or organization I could say has been as impactful to me as Key Club—from going to all of our club, divisional, and district events, I’ve made countless friends, many of which are my closest friends now. The level of meaning that Key Club has to different people varies with the person. This is why Key Club holds the meaning of growth and family to me, as I try to inspire the same love for Key Club in my peers as those in the grades above me have instilled in me.”
Xia was Secretary her sophomore year and Co-President her junior year. With her position as Co-President, she had numerous responsibilities to fulfill.
“One of the responsibilities of [the] President is to attend Presidents’ meetings with their division’s Lieutenant Governor [LTG], [the person] who oversees the division and ensures the well-being of the division’s clubs. This is where I started getting to know our past Lieutenant Governor Jenna Kleinman,” she said.
Kleinman decided to open up a new position to the Presidents of each division titled Executive Assistant, specifically for Division 24B, due to how large the division is since it is made up of 13 schools. Xia gained the position through her connection with Kleinman, as well as the support of her senior peers, Key Club Zone J Administrators Mr. and Mrs. Leys and Florida District Executive Board Members.
Her experience as Executive Assistant provided insight into what kind of work an LTG does and how to plan Divisional Council Meetings (DCMs) which are monthly meetings that include all of the schools in each Key Club division to update members on the latest information.
“When I was Jenna’s Executive Assistant, she would assign specific tasks to me and explain what the task was, why it was important, and how to do it. This hands-on experience definitely helped when we had to do formal one-on-one LTG training after my election, where Jenna mainly just answered my questions about specific topics since I already knew, for the most part, the different responsibilities of an LTG,” Xia said.
Towards the end of her junior year, she applied to run for LTG and went through the necessary procedure to do so since LTG is an official Florida District Board Officer and not simply a club officer on the school level. “I had to sign a code of conduct and provide my personal information, so that assuming I won the election, I would already have the proper forms ready to hold me accountable for carrying out my responsibilities as the newly elected LTG,” Xia said.
As LTG she hopes to form close relationships with the members and officers of each club of her division. “That’s one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to be LTG in the first place— I really value the personal connections I get to make with everyone I meet through Key Club,” she said. “I hope that all of the members in Division 24B can see me as a figure that genuinely wants the best for them.”
In the future, she plans to join the collegiate version of Key Club, known as Circle K International. “Key Club has been an integral part to my high school experience thus far, and I think it would be amazing to continue that going into college. I will definitely continue doing community service in college since it is something I genuinely enjoy, especially when my friends are there with me,” Xia said.