By AMOLI KULKARNI and HAMSITHA JUPALI, juniors
On March 30, 2012, JP Stevens Key Club saw many of its goals realized when hundreds of Key Clubbers from all over New Jersey gathered in Long Branch, NJ for the annual District Convention. Members came together to commemorate the year’s accomplishments, develop personal leadership skills, and celebrate the values of caring, leadership, and service that are the very essence of Key Club.
The “Walk the Boardwalk of Service” theme and magnificent ocean view certainly set the mood for an exciting weekend. The first of the three-day conference offered various workshops that emphasized skills necessary for management, networking, and public speaking. That night, everyone got a chance to make new friends and let loose at the Neon Dance.
DCON was much more than a lighthearted weekend as the JPS Key Club competed in various events. JP Stevens brought home the most awards, which included first place club awards for Newsletter, Website, and Platinum Single Service. First place individual awards were presented to junior Mohammad Nawaz for best Oratorical Presentation, senior Sy Adamowsky for their singing skills in the talent contest, and sophomore Sani Shah for the digital poster contest, whose poster is headed to ICON to compete on the international level. Second place club awards were won for Website, Scrapbook, and Major Emphasis Project, and second place individual awards were given to sophomore Archan Patel for his Impromptu Essay. As junior Reema Thakkar recalls, “It was amazing to watch my fellow key clubbers on stage showing the hard work that paid off in front of so many districts.” Junior Revathi Mekala, this past year’s Lieutenant Governor of Division 10 of the NJ District, was honored with the Robert F. Lucas Outstanding Lt. Governor Award and won an endorsement to run for a Trustee position on the Key Club International Board at this summer’s ICON in Orlando, Florida.
Certainly, being granted all of these honors produced a great sense of pride among the JPS Key Clubbers, but the biggest sense of accomplishment was felt when the NJ District of Key Club President, Nicole Darrah, revealed that the New Jersey District of Key Club alone raised $97,000 for the Eliminate Project, which utilizes the funds for injections that prevents maternal and neo-natal tetanus in Africa and other third-world countries.
This year’s Key Club District Convention captured Key Club’s goal of helping others while having fun and bringing together Key Clubbers from different places with one goal in common: to serve their schools and communities while spreading the ideals of service, inclusiveness, and kindness.