The Lake Ridge Key Club has seen a large increase in the amount members this year; which can all be owed to the yearly District Convention (or DCON) held in Dallas.
Last year, after receiving and applying tips from officials at the convention, Key Club has become one of the most participated clubs at Lake Ridge. Students from every grade level have found themselves at the bi-weekly Wednesday meetings and spending their weekends volunteering in their community.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Key Club attended another one of the conventions again. Sponsor Kandice San Miguel and seniors Megan Pham and Ella Gwartney (along with a few others), all took a short trip down to Dallas and to the convention. While there, the students learned to grow and develop their own Key Club as well as improve alongside other schools such as Mansfield High School.
“DCON is a convention for the kids. They go to forums, they learn about their positions, they learn about how to run an effective Key Club. So the kids attended all of those forums and they attended professional banquets, where they learned how to interact professionally with other people, they learned how to accept awards, and accept defeat,” said sponsor, Mrs. San Miguel.
While at the Harry Potter themed convention (there is a theme every year), the students got the chance to play games and network with other Key Clubs. The games included an inflatable obstacle course and an activity where they had to find the “golden switch”. However, despite the fun from the games, the forums were the most important part.
“At these forums we learn how to be better leaders, organize events, communicate, and more. We go to as many as possible to grow our Key Club the best we can. Last year when we came back, we grew our membership by over one hundred more people,” said Gwartney.
At DCON schools can also win awards for their club. This year the Lake Ridge Key Club won: ‘Top 3 Distinguished Websites’, ‘75% Club Membership Growth’, and ‘Most Outstanding Vice President’. With this being their first year as an established system, Key Club President, Megan Pham, was incredibly proud to see that their hard work paid off.
“Awards are not everything, but with these awards we’re able to put ourselves out there and peak future Key Clubber’s interest as they see legitimacy in Key Club,” exclaimed Pham.
Both Gwartney and Pham believe the District Convention has positively influenced the way Key Club is run now. There is more open communication, opportunities, efficiency, and the club now has a solid foundation.
“Ever since Lake Ridge has opened, Key Club has been rocky for nearly four years. Every year we’ve had to change sponsors. Key Club is so much bigger than a simple high school club to gain service, I mean, how many people know that Key Club operates at the International level? Our hard work in rebuilding this club showed this year at the convention, to let everyone know that we’re not just some obscure club that makes keys. Attending this convention last year was the sole reason how we were able to rebuild a solid foundation this year, we learned so much about leadership, organization, communication, service, and so on. And this is only the beginning of our Lake Ridge Key Club successes, our next year’s board will carry on our impact, and the board after that, and the board after that,” said Pham.