MODESTO — For most students, "School's out" usually means just that: Anything with ties to school or any responsibilities borne out of it seem to conveniently evaporate for a couple of months.
However, members of an international high school service group called Key Club live by their creed year-round.
That creed is one of volunteerism, dedication and action. The core values of Key Club center on being a force for positive change in one's community, on working toward something greater than oneself.
It seems rather natural, then, that students from six local high school Key Clubs gathered July 20 for a car wash near Livingston City Hall to raise funds for the Pediatric Trauma Program. The PTP, which seeks to reduce the number of children harmed or killed by unintentional injuries, provides grant funding to partner children's hospitals in California, Nevada and Hawaii.
The more than $200 raised at the car wash will be allocated to spreading awareness, buying equipment and training medical responders to deal with child injury cases.
This isn't the first time local Key Clubs have come together to raise funds for PTP. In June, a similar car wash was held in Turlock; this month, one is planned in Merced.
Others ways to serve community
This also is just a slice of the service that members of Key Club engage in every year. From picking up trash at parks to making cards for senior citizens, students truly take to heart the truth that with a little thoughtfulness and vision, anyone can make a difference.
Sheenah DeMayo, a Livingston High School senior who serves as lieutenant governor of the Division 46 South Key Clubs, long has been a proponent of service. "Serving our communities is a wonderful experience to engage in as a high school student," she says.
And the best part? You get to usher in positive change wherever you see it fit. "It all comes down to finding a cause you're passionate about and then dedicating yourself to it," says Sheenah. "Watching so many students come together on a regular basis to do just that is truly amazing."
If you're seeking a way to take a more active role in your community, interact with some like-minded people and draw on your dedication all year long, getting involved in Key Club is a smart start.
To learn more about Key Club or how to start a chapter at your high school, visit www.keyclub.org.
Henna Hundal is a junior at Turlock High School.