A year ago the L’Anse Creuse High School — North Make a Difference Club was a smaller group of dedicated students doing what they could to positively impact local families. Little did they know that when they embraced the decision to become a Key Club, they would significantly expand that impact among the students, school and community.
Key Club is a high school service organization that empowers its members to lead and serve by cultivating leadership skills, developing friendships, and performing community service. In partnership with their local Kiwanis club, these students are making a positive impact as they serve others in their schools and communities.
To kick off the year, several members of the club’s executive team attended the District Fall Rally. The rally is an annual leadership conference where students from several Key Clubs from across Michigan connect and learn from each other. President Katie Joquico explained, “It was really eye-opening as to how much we could be doing.”
Treasurer Payten Lamky agreed and added, “I realized our impact could go much further than this building.”
Inspired by what they learned, the team got to work recruiting and volunteering. That inspiration was contagious. As students heard about their positive experiences helping others they started joining one after another, after another. This natural progression has resulted in the club tripling in size in just a few months and membership still continues to rise.
First, they joined forces with Kids Coalition Against Hunger to help portion and package over 100,000 meals. They were at it again a few weeks later helping to sort and distribute non-perishable items for the Clinton Township Kiwanis Annual Food Drive and Distribution. Along with the LCN Volunteer Village, they learned how to weave homeless mats from grocery bags for Macomb Feed the Need. Next, they teamed up with the Key Clubs at Dakota, Chippewa Valley and International Academy, as well as the Clinton Township Kiwanis, to host an outstanding holiday party for local children in need. Then before leaving for the break, even after taking on all these new tasks, the group kept and expanded on their tradition of adopting several families for Christmas.
“I’m so proud of the kids,” said club sponsor and LCHS-N social studies and English teacher Pam VanThomme. “They have really taken on leadership roles and they are doing so much to make a difference.”
“It’s kind of surreal, last year it was so little and not known,” Katie recalls. “I would talk about how we were doing something for Key Club and no one knew what it was. Now we have over 60 kids. It just feels like wow, we did this!”
All executive officers are seniors this year and the feeling is bittersweet. “We’re here and doing so much, I’m excited but sad about it ending for us,” Co-Vice President Matthew Madou explained. “Hopefully we can hand it off to some good kids.”
But before they go, they have a whole second semester of having fun while helping others. As Katie said, “I think it can only get better for us!”
L’Anse Creuse High School - North is located in Macomb Township.