In accordance with our first annual SPARK Month, more than 100 SPARK events were held by Golden Key chapters around the world. Chapters that participated could apply to win an award for the best service initiatives. Today, we’re excited to announce those winners!
The first place winner ($500 USD) is the chapter at The University of Florida!
Two chapters tied for second place ($300 USD): the University of Virgin Islands – St. Thomas and the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez.
And finally, third place ($200 USD) goes to the Ashford University chapter.
Congratulations to the winning chapters!
The University of Florida chapter set up a tutoring program for a local high school. About 20 students came to each session and receive help on homework assignments, basic course concepts and test taking skills. The GK members went from Monday to Thursday every week in October – a huge time commitment and dedication!
The University of Virgin Islands – St. Thomas chapter provided a mentorship experience for 6th grade students. The male session was titled “From Boys to Men Mentorship Experience” and focused on self-empowerment. It included interactive discussions, activities, a speaker and an appearance by a professional boxer named Julius Jackson. The female session, called “Queens’ Court,” focused on building self-esteem. Members with training in pageantry and professional etiquette served as guest speakers and there were several activities for participants.
The University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez chapter‘s event was called “Hands On!” which had a goal of impacting the lives of at-risk youth through practical multidisciplinary education and real-world preparedness. They partnered with student associations, representatives from companies and alumni to provide an all-day event aimed for kids ages 10-17. Fifteen kids from the Boys and Girls Club of Mayaguez and public schools of the Mayaguez area were given the opportunity to learn more about the different educational programs at their university as well as participate in several activities focused on team building, leadership and academics.
The Ashford University chapter met three times during October with at-risk youth at a local elementary school. On the first visit, they supplied the children with banks, discussed with them about saving money and challenged them to collect soda pop cans to earn money. On the second visit, they worked with the children on computer skills. Both of these visits helped to provide them for the real world. And, on the third visit, they worked on math and team building skills by playing a giant homemade Jinga game. The children counted the blocks together and also strategized. They used cooperation, self-control and patience to complete the game. The game helped to instill in them skills needed for school life and work life. And, they raised over $335.73 towards SPARK a Change.
In July of 2014, Golden Key launched SPARK a Change. The mission of SPARK a Change is to impact and improve the lives of at-risk youth (ages 0-17) through literacy, education and real-world preparedness. By 2017, Golden Key aims to raise $40,000, dedicate 400,000 hours of service and impact 400,000 lives in local communities & around the world.
October was our first annual SPARK Month, where GK members were encouraged to participate in service events related to the SPARK a Change goals and mission. The GK chapters did not disappoint! 123 SPARK events were held that led to 3,005 hours of service, $1509.73 raised and more than 2500 lives impacted! Chapters also had the chance to submit applications to win an award for the best service initiatives. The SPARK a Change chapter scholarship application winners will be announced tomorrow (3 December 2014).
Many different types of outstanding service events were held!
Many chapters held reading events by visiting local elementary schools, reading to special needs children and participating in Read For The Record. Chapters that participated in reading events include: California State University, Long Beach; Eastern Kentucky University; The University of Tennessee; Indiana State University; Florida Atlantic University; DePaul University; California State University, Los Angeles; Indiana University of Pennsylvania; University of Wisconsin Oshkosh; and George Mason University.
Many chapters visited afterschool programs to tutor students and make a different in their communities. Chapters include: Georgia State University; University of California, Riverside; University of South Carolina; Simon Fraser University; University of Central Florida; and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Indiana State University had a unique and fun idea. They hosted a Halloween Party where they also created vocabulary flash cards for children in need!
Norfolk State University members volunteered at the Berkley Community Center After-School tutoring program. They provided tutoring in Reading, Writing, Math, Science, and Social Studies. They also organized a Youth Flag Football Tournament where they played two games of football as well as had informal discussion about experience, leadership, teamwork and academics.
The University of the Western Cape chapter created a “Spring School” that helped 40 students a day in Belhar. The school was from 9am-1pm and it covered tutoring in Math and English/Afrikaans and had sports, leadership training, team building, etc. The school is located in an area with high gang crime and drug use and helped to keep students off the streets during school holidays.
Many chapters got creative and thought of awesome ways to prepare children for their future.
Ashford University chapter members helped students develop their computer skills and learn about how to start and maintain a bank account.
The University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez chapter held an event called Hands ON. The purpose of the activity is to educate at-risk youth by giving hands on experience in a multidisciplinary environment. They had different sections where the students (ages 13-17) could put in practice something related to the different educational offers in our campus: engineering, science, arts, business administration, and agriculture.
Members at Federation University Australia hosted “Uni for a day” where primary school students of difficult backgrounds could see what it was like to go to a university and attend interesting lectures. They even got take home “showbags” with big kid university stuff!
The University of Vermont chapter participated in Dollar Enterprise, one of the largest service-learning entrepreneurship activities in the US, which offers over 100 students to use less than $10 to design, plan, and operate small business ventures on campus for one month. All proceeds donate to charity organizations focusing on animal welfare, youth development, youth education, family wellbeing, community services, and career planning for youth.
Drives & Fundraising Events
Several chapters held book drives including: Eastern Kentucky University; University of Central Florida; The University of Texas-Pan American; and Missouri State University.
Chapters that held school supply drives include: Florida Gulf Coast University and University of Washington.
The Syracuse University chapter had a SPARK A Change School Supply Drive for the English as a Second Language (ESL) program at the Ed Smith K-8 School of the Syracuse City Schools District.
Chapters that held bake sales and fundraising events include: University of Windsor; Central Connecticut State University; Georgia Southern University; and The College of New Jersey.
These are just a few of the many amazing and creative SPARK events held!
Golden Key Headquarters got involved in SPARK month as well! The staff at the GK Headquarters office in Atlanta, GA volunteered at Books for Africa, an organization that collects, sorts, ships and distributes books to students of all ages in Africa. We went through bins of collected books and sorted them by age group and school subject.
Golden Key would like to send out a BIG thank you to all of our chapters that participated in SPARK month this October. We can’t wait to see all the additional ways our members SPARK a Change!
Golden Key International Honour Society is thrilled to welcome our 100,000th member from Canada, Karla Gorospe from the University of Windsor!
Founded in 1977, Golden Key has more than two million members worldwide. In 1997, Golden Key established its first chapter in Canada and has been welcoming high-achieving students into the Society across Canada since then.
Karla is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Applied Science Honours, Civil Engineering Co-op at the University of Windsor. She is currently in her second year at the university and plans to graduate in fall of 2017. Gorospe will be honored at the chapter’s annual New Member Recognition Event on 21 November 2014. Many of the new Golden Key members, their family and friends, chapter officers and university faculty will be present at the event. Golden Key’s Director of Canada, Ian Sankey, will also attend the event and will present Gorospe with a special certificate. Her mother and father will be at the event to see her get recognized.
Gorospe has ambitious career goals. She plans to become a professional engineer and also wants to eventually manage her own consulting firm. She will pursue a master’s degree in engineering to help her reach her goals.
Gorospe let us know that she is excited to become involved with the chapter on campus and apply for scholarships. One of the reasons she joined Golden Key is because her older sister is a member. When her sister attended the GK International Summit in 2012, she was “amazed at the different service opportunities and educational recognition” that was provided. She is interested in the community involvement opportunities, leadership positions and networking that Golden Key provides.
In addition to being a Golden Key member, Gorospe is involved in her community and on campus. Since 2008, she has been volunteering at her church as a Sunday School assistant. At the university, she is part of the Connecting4Success program where she mentors an incoming first-generation university student and provides them with advice and guidance. She is a member of the Outstanding Scholars Program in the university. Her team won first place in the junior design category at the Windsor Engineering Competition in 2013. And, she is on the President’s List.
“Now that I was named as the 100,000th member, it is even more rewarding to know that many Canadian students are achieving academic excellence and taking leadership roles and meaningful involvement in the community. I have no doubt that more future leaders of this great nation will emanate from the GK membership,” she said.
Golden Key is proud to recognize Karla Gorospe for helping the Society reach this milestone.
The final chapter that we would like to highlight in our 2013-2014 North American Key Chapter blog series is Stony Brook University.
During the 2013-2014 academic year, the Stony Brook University chapter hosted numerous events dedicated to service. On April 25th, the chapter participated in Earthstock, an event to celebrate Earth Day and promote awareness of Stony brook University’s commitment to a green future. The members hosted a tabling session and promoted alternatively fueled methods of transportation, reducing their carbon footprint and recycling goods whenever possible. The next day, the Golden Key chapter participated in Relay for Life on the university’s recreation fields with the intention of raising money and awareness for the American Cancer Society. Chapter members put together a team and collectively raised money for months leading up to the event. The chapter also participated in the “English Pal Program” at Stony Brook University, which is a collaborative effort between the Golden Key chapter and the International Student Organization to pair English speaking students with foreign students to help assimilate them into the community. The “pals” would meet weekly to practice speaking English, attend different events and ultimately build lasting relationships. This program continues to be an incredible success with up to 500 participants per semester!
One of the largest events that the Stony Brook University chapter hosts is their Prospective Member Event that was held during the spring semester. After receiving the list of eligible members, the chapter president sent out emails to each individual on the list to congratulate them on their academic success and to invite them to the event. The event started with a a dessert reception. Then prospective members were educated on what Golden Key is, the membership process and the benefits of becoming a member. The chapter also discussed the numerous events that they host on campus and the leadership opportunities available by being a part of the chapter. The chapter found this event to be incredibly successful with prospective members having a broader understanding of Golden Key.
Congratulations to the Stony Brook University chapter and all of the other Key Chapter winners for the 2013-2014 academic year!
The next chapter that we would like to highlight in our 2013-2014 Key Chapter Award blog series is Wright State University.
During the fall & spring commencement ceremonies, the Wright State University chapter hosted a Flower Sale fundraising event in which friends and family could purchase flowers for those who are graduating. The Golden Key chapter was able to raise more than $1,300 in December and $3,000 in May to go towards community service events, scholarships and summits! The chapter also hosted their annual Penny Drive on campus. To make this event possible, chapter members set up boxes in 100 offices around campus to collect pennies, and the office that collected the most money would receive a pizza party. To encourage further participation in the offices, the campus offices were allowed to decorate the boxes for an opportunity to win another prize from the chapter. The Penny Drive raised more than $500 to be donated to the Ronald McDonald House of Dayton to support terminally ill children and their families.
For Global Youth Service Day in the spring, the Wright State Golden Key chapter hosted their first ever “Youth Athlete’s Experience”. This event was designed to bring together children ages two to seven years old with mental disabilities to participate in physical activities that would provide them with the initial skills that they would need to later participate in the Special Olympics. On Sunday April 13, the chapter hosted more than twenty children with Down Syndrome, Schizencephaly, Autism and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome at the university’s gymnasium, where the chapter set up seven different stations. The seven stations consisted of: an obstacle course, run and carry, “Coach says”, catching, kicking, cornhole and dribbling. Each child had their own volunteer, or “buddy”, who would help the child participate in the events and move from station to station. This event proved to be a unique opportunity considering that there are no similar events to this in the greater Dayton area where children under eight years old can development these skills. The parents had a warm reception to the event as it provided a fun learning environment for the children, and the participants in the event had an incredible time, as well!
Congratulations to the Wright State University chapter for being named a Key Chapter for the 2013-2014 academic year.
At fifteen years old, Eugenie de Silva has already accomplished more than many will in their lifetime. At seven years old, she won the award for the John Hopkins University state test for verbal and mathematic talent in the state of Virginia. She began high school at nine and then graduated at eleven with a college preparatory high school diploma from the University of Missouri High School. At eleven, she began her undergraduate degree at American Military University (AMU). And in 2013, at the age of fourteen, Eugenie graduated from the AMU with a Bachelor’s degree in Intelligence Analysis with a 4.0 GPA. During her undergraduate studies she started master’s level courses and also became a member of Golden Key during this time. In May of 2014, she graduated from AMU with a Master’s in Intelligence Studies with a concentration in Intelligence Studies with a 4.0 GPA – Summa Cum Laude. At fifteen, she is now finishing her thesis for her second Master’s at Harvard University in Legal Studies and has begun a Ph.D. program in Politics at the University of Leicester in England.
Eugenie is truly an amazing individual and we’re proud to call her a Golden Key member. We had the opportunity to ask Eugenie some questions about her life and accomplishments.
As someone who is already pursuing a PhD program at your young age, why is education so important to you?
Education is the key to future. Actually, having a degree is useless if one cannot effectively apply the learned knowledge to positively impact one’s community and even the world. The field of intelligence is that which is largely covert, yet it acts as the backbone of the protection of the national security of the country. Therefore, being educated helps me to develop a broad knowledge that I can apply to help the U.S. in the intelligence discipline.
What drives you to accomplish so much?
I have a passion for intelligence and law enforcement. I do everything with the goal of becoming the U.S. Secretary of Defense and working for the nation to help hard-working citizens and protect individuals from threats that are posed by state and non-state actors.
What are your goals for the future?
My goal is to be the U.S. Secretary of Defense, and then work for the United Nations. I also hope to open my own law firm to help individuals at this level. I also will be initiating novel educational programs for those who may not have completed high school or are seeking ways in which to further their education and knowledge.
I heard that you wrote a book, “Don’t Like School? Don’t Go.” Can you tell us more about it?
This book is planned to be published before the end of this year. The book will discuss my own experiences, the good and the bad, and will provide readers with specific ways in which to improve their own lives to be successful. The book is primarily written for teenagers and young adults, but the advice can be applied to any individual regardless of age. I hope to inspire the youth of today, since they will certainly be the leaders of tomorrow.
How do your goals and values align with Golden Key’s mission?
My goals and values certainly align with the Golden Key’s mission, since I have always been focused on my academics and I am tirelessly working to provide service to the U.S. My goal is to work as a public leader in the U.S. who will consistently take into consideration the actual needs of citizens and make their interests a priority in all that I do. My goal is also to promote education and academic excellence amongst individuals of all backgrounds. Anything is possible and I strive to make that my main point when I speak with individuals on a daily basis in academic and social contexts.
Why did you choose to join Golden Key?
It is always wonderful to be a part of an international honor society that promotes and upholds high standards in an academic forum. Being a member of the Golden Key is also a great way to meet others who are focused on their education and strive to do well in all their endeavors.
Is there anything you would like fellow Golden Key members to know about you? Anything else you would like to add?
I would like to add that while many have expressed their comments that I have not had a normal childhood, I can ease their minds by saying that they do not need to worry since I definitely have had a regular social upbringing. Furthermore, I want to make known that I truly have a desire to help the U.S. and will continue to work to play a role in the protection of this nation.
Our congratulations go out to Eugenie for all of her amazing accomplishments that inspire us so much!
We would like to congratulate the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse chapter for being named a 2013-2014 Key Chapter winner.
During the 2013-2014 academic year, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse chapter participated in numerous community service functions. One event was called “The Book Drive That Never Ends.” From March 1 to April 1, Golden Key members collected as many books as possible for Better World Books and Books for Africa. Given that the La Crosse campus is a textbook rental campus, the main source for books comes from faculty members. Although only 7 boxes of books were eligible for Better World Books, the chapter had another 20 boxes to be donated to Books for Africa! In March, the chapter worked with two local elementary schools to assist with their fundraisers. One of the honorary members, Sue Kelly, made all of the arrangements for the members, and the schools were grateful for the chapter’s help. The chapter also worked in conjunction with the Salvation Army during the holiday season. In December members teamed up with the Angel Tree program, which provides Christmas assistance for disadvantaged children and seniors. The chapter assisted in the wrapping and distribution of gifts to children in the area.
One of the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse chapter’s most impactful events was the Miracle League Softball Game held in early May. Miracle League is a national organization designed to give individuals with special needs an opportunity to participate in organized sports. Originated in Conyers, GA in 1998, the organization has grown into a league comprised of 225 fields in 44 states. This game served as an excellent opportunity for the chapter members to work one-on-one with the players, assist them throughout the game and build a relationship with them. The chapter plans to participate in this event in the future and have already been invited back to upcoming games.
Once again congratulations to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse chapter for being named a 2013-2014 Key Chapter winner!