By David Stoshick, Pennsylvania District

Since starting my Kiwanis family journey at the age of 12, I have been able to form an almost enumerable number of fond memories within our organization. Choosing a particular proudest moment has been fairly difficult, as I have been involved in dozens of service projects and countless volunteer hours and have held two leadership positions. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created even more memories, both good and bad. Although at first this task seemed to be unachievable, I believe that, after much thinking, I am able to describe my proudest Key Club moment.

My Kiwanis family journey started in the sixth grade when I joined my school’s Builders Club. After both my family and I had just overcome a number of serious illnesses, I wanted to give back to a community that had afforded us a great deal of support, compassion and aid. I eventually would go on to join my high school’s Key Club in the ninth grade to continue to serve my home, school and community — although this time around, I wanted to be able to reach a greater portion of my community. With this new desire to serve, I (somehow) summoned the courage to run for the office of my home club’s vice-presidency during my sophomore year. During my time as vice-president, I was able to retain our membership statistics and presided over many local service projects. Ultimately though, I still had the drive to do more within Key Club. In November 2019, I made the decision to run for the office of lieutenant governor, a position that I had often looked toward for guidance during my time as a member and a leader at my home club. 

It has been my service as a lieutenant governor that I believe is my proudest Key Club moment. In February of 2020, I experienced one of the happiest days of my life, being elected as the Division 11 lieutenant governor of the Pennsylvania District of Key Club International. I remember being incredibly proud and joyous that the clubs within my division believed in my abilities enough to elect me to this demanding yet rewarding office. Because of the unique position of an LTG (being able not only to work with clubs to increase their membership, participate in service projects and train their officers, but also to work on a district level in various committees, meet other highly driven individuals and further the goals of Key Club International), I formed my proudest moments. 

During the start of my term as LTG, the COVID-19 pandemic had reached its tipping point in the United States. The virus went from something that seemed so far away and only affected a small portion of the world to affect every aspect of daily life for everyone. Government buildings, entertainment complexes, stores and (most importantly) schools all shut down to slow the spread of the disease. When most major governments shut down in-person learning, I was not only scared of what was to come of my educational opportunities, but I was also at a loss for how we as an organization were going to serve our communities when they needed us the most. And although we had a bit of a rocky start to the 2020 Key Club year, we came out on top. I am beyond proud of the work that our members have accomplished this year. 

Our clubs adapted very well to “safe service projects.” The most notable projects that came out of my division included: recording bedtime stories that were then uploaded to a Facebook group so that children could learn to love reading and would have something to look forward to every day; sponsoring grocery bills to help families dealing with financial issues to always have healthy and nutritious food; and hosting a virtual walk-a-thon to raise support for and awareness of childhood illnesses. 

It is because of the hard work and dedication of our members that I was able to form my proudest moments. I am proud of the drive, creativity and resilience that our members demonstrated that not only made my year as a lieutenant governor so successful but also afforded great amounts of aid to my community.