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!
In continuance with our 2013-2014 Key Chapter winner blog series, we would like to highlight the University of the Virgin Islands- St. Thomas chapter.
For Make A Difference Day in 2013, the University of the Virgin Islands- St. Thomas chapter volunteered at the Wesleyan Holiness Church Soup Kitchen, which hosts a soup kitchen once a month to provide food to those in need. Representatives from the church cook and donate the food, and they package it up for walk-ins and delivery all over the island. Eight chapter members, one officer and one advisor served as volunteers during the event by helping to pack and serve the food, as well as clean up the facility after the event. In February the chapter conducted a Professional Development Workshop with an emphasis on Business & Dinner Etiquette. The purpose of the workshop was to engage and provide members with various strategies and techniques that would enhance the members’ networking and formal dining skills, which included learning how to set the table, the proper use of each utensil, appropriate hand shaking techniques and how to dress for the occasion. The chapter also participated in the 3rd annual Scholars Social Event in February. This event brings together two local high school honor societies to connect and familiarize themselves with the Golden Key chapter, as well as learn more about upcoming events that the chapter is hosting. More than 75 people participated in the event and 56 of which were high school students.
During the 2013-2014 academic year, the University of the Virgin Islands- St. Thomas chapter participated in the 25th annual Afternoon on the Green, an annual, community-based “friend raiser” event. To make the event happen, several student clubs and organizations on campus collaborate with the Afternoon on the Green committee to ensure that the occasion is a success. The Golden Key chapter was responsible for organizing, planning and supervising the children’s area, as well as setting up, cleaning up and working the information desk. In order to plan the children’s section, the chapter sought out donations from local businesses, and on the day of the event, ten Golden Key members volunteered at the children’s section where they had their faces painted, read books to the kids and hosted other fun activities. The event was a huge success and raised more than $25,000 to go towards scholarships for university students.
Congratulations to the University of the Virgin Islands- St. Thomas chapter for being named a 2013-2014 Key Chapter winner!
We would like to highlight the University of the Virgin Islands- St. Croix chapter for being named a Key Chapter for the 2013-2014 academic year.
From February 24 through March 31, the University of the Virgin Islands- St. Croix chapter hosted their Formal Wear Drive to collect formal dresses, suits and accessories. All collected items were donated to “Closet to Closet”, a women’s coalition thrift store, and were placed in the high end section of the store called “Shabby Chic”. As a chapter, they were able to collect two boxes worth of clothes and accessories just in time for high school proms on the island. For Global Youth Service Day, the chapter attended two local elementary schools and spoke with the students about the importance of receiving an education. They also addressed issues that the students might have, such as frustration with homework, and asked them questions about material that they have covered so far. Towards the end of the visit, the Golden Key members read stories to the students and awarded them with prizes. The chapter also ran a campaign for voters with disabilities given that 2014 marks a year for local elections. The goal of the campaign was to educate the community and raise awareness about voting accessibility rights for voters with disabilities, and they ran the campaign online, on campus and within the community. The chapter saw a noticeable increase in awareness, and the campaign was an overall success.
One of the University of the Virgin Islands- St. Croix chapter’s larger events was their “One Day Extensive Coin Drive” to benefit the Red Cross, which was hosted at the chapter’s Honorary Members & Alumni Pre-Induction Mix and Mingle and their New Member Recognition Event. One reason for the success of the drive was due to the large amount of Golden Key members, alumni, honorary members, university staff and community officials who attended the events. Chapter members marketed the event via flyers and announcements, and they announced the drive on the invitations for both the Mix & Mingle and the New Member Recognition Event. Also, for every coin that was donated, the Dean of the Liberal Arts Social Sciences at the university (an honorary member) would match the donation. The drive required a dedicated, group effort from the chapter and ended up as a huge success!
Congratulations to the University of the Virgin Islands- St. Croix chapter for being named a 2013-2014 Key Chapter!
In continuance with our Key Chapter blog series for the 2013-2014 academic year, we would like to highlight the University of Texas at El Paso chapter.
During the 2013-2014 academic year, the University of Texas at El Paso chapter held Power of the Purse, a fundraising event to benefit the El Paso Women’s Fund. In order to raise money, the chapter had purses donated to be put up for sale or to be auctioned off. All proceeds were used to provide scholarships to single mothers in the El Paso area who are trying to finish high and/or college. The chapter also participated in Project MOVE in the spring of 2014. Organized by the University of Texas at El Paso chapter, this event allows students to participate in numerous community services projects in one day. The Golden Key chapter’s event, Rebuilding Together, brought members together to paint the home of an elderly woman who lives in the area. The woman was more than pleased to have the chapter come help her, and the event served as an excellent opportunity for the chapter to give back to the community.
In the spring, the University of Texas at El Paso chapter offered to be the host chapter for Region 7 and Region 9’s 2014 Regional Summit, which brought together members, leaders and advisors from across the continental United States and Hawai’i. Prior to the Summit, the chapter put together a committee that planned and coordinated to ensure that the event ran smoothly, which included preparing the venue for speakers and workshops, planning the community service events and checking in the visiting Golden Key members. The committee also promoted the event on social media and on their campus. Guests were able to choose between three different community service events, which included the Rescue Mission of El Paso, the Polly Harris Senior Center and the YWCA of El Paso. Together the leaders and members were able to pull together and work as a cohesive team, which lead to a success event and even stronger chapter. In fact the event was featured as an official event of the university’s Centennial Celebration and will be part of the university’s legacy forever.
Congratulations to the University of Texas at El Paso chapter for their hard work and dedication!