THE SEMINOLE NEWSPAPER

PAREENA SHARMA ELEVATES KEY CLUB

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PAREENA SHARMA ELEVATES KEY CLUB

Pareena Sharma prepares for a Key Club meeting.

Pareena Sharma prepares for a Key Club meeting.

Pareena Sharma prepares for a Key Club meeting.

Pareena Sharma prepares for a Key Club meeting.

MEGANA VONGURU, REPORTER

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From a young age, senior Pareena Sharma made it her duty to be as involved in the community as possible. She has always been a leader, so when she entered high school her first step was to join Key club. Key Club is an international organization that provides students with community service opportunities while teaching them the core values of leadership, character building, caring, and inclusiveness. Now she serves as the Lieutenant governor for the club. A Lieutenant governor oversees the work of all key clubs around the city and region.

As a child, Sharma would donate canned goods and participate in fund-raisers that were geared towards helping the less fortunate. As a senior, Sharma now feels that Key Club gives more opportunities to help give back to the community.

“Key Club has shown me that it is not just about getting community service hours but that you are part of a team that can improve our world with student-led impact,” said Sharma.

Key Club has a variety of events that members can participate in. This includes working with Families in Transition, which works with families and schools to “ensure that students receive any assistance they need,” working in local food banks where volunteers help prepare food and organize supplies that were sent, and aiding the golden age games in which elders participate in Olympic style sports.

Key Club Officer Crisell Hildago said, “I originally joined just to get [community service] hours for school but now I actually enjoy participating in the club events.” Her favorite club events are senior citizen thanksgiving and the golden age games. “This is only my second year in the club and I feel happy that I’ve already been able to contribute in helping others in need.”

By participating in events, members are able to see how they might be in a more fortunate position than others.

“I was really surprised by the number of families that were in transition and struggling financially in Seminole county,” said Key Club Officer Trishna Khatri.

As a past officer, Sharma managed the many members of the large Key Club. She helped start the meetings and organize information to be presented. However, Sharma knew she wanted to be even more involved. In order to run for lieutenant governor, all of Key Club’s guidelines must be completed. Guidelines include attending the candidate training conference, registering in advance online and filling out the entire lieutenant governor service agreement packet. Attendance and involvement in the club are very importance. Members are required to have been in the club for at least one year and partaken in a certain amount of events. Sharma attended all the divisional and club events and in her junior year was elected as the junior director.

When running for lieutenant governor, campaigning is not allowed. However, members have the option of meeting with other clubs and organizations in the division.

At the spring rally conference, Sharma ran for the position of lieutenant governor and was officially given the position at the Florida District Conference in front of the Florida and Cayman island clubs that attended. As lieutenant governor, she is in charge of the Florida Key Club Scholarships program.

“When someone applies for a Key Club scholarship, it is sent to me and the team and evaluate their application before sending the final applications to the judges,” said Sharma.

Being a lieutenant governor has inspired Sharma to involve herself in more organizations. Sharma became the founder of Stem Club and National Science Honor Society.

With Sharma being lieutenant governor, she has a lot more information on future and possible events than other clubs.

“I have a large connection with a lot of people and I’m informed about possible events and opportunities far in advance.”

Sharma hopes that with her connection, she can provide members with rare opportunities and also encourage more people to join the club.

“I’ve really tried to make Key Club not just one of those clubs where members just show up and don’t do anything,” said Sharma. “I hope I can use my connections to help make a bigger difference to this club and also the community as well.”

 

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