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Spring 2014 Education Debt Reduction Winners

December 8, 2014

Golden Key’s scholarship recipients embody the pillars for which Golden Key stands and we are delighted to assist them in making their dreams a reality. We realize that many college students today require assistance repaying the investment they have made in their education. We are committed to helping members further their education and academic pursuits, so we created the Education Debt Reduction Award, which assists members with repayment of student loans. We are excited to announce the winners of the Spring 2014 scholarship, who are awarded $5,000 USD each.

The recipients (in no particular order) are:

  • Jason Heap, Walden University, United States
  • Linda Moore, University of New England, United States
  • Sarah-Kate Hawkins, Walden University, United States
  • Lynda Charles, University of Central Florida, United States
  • Eric Barber, Ashford University, United States

Congratulations to the winners!

Here’s what two of the winners had to say upon receiving the award…

JasonDHeap Image for Golden Key“I am very appreciative to the Golden Key International Honour Society for awarding me with a debt reduction scholarship. It has come at a very crucial moment in my career where I have just completed a doctoral degree, but the very nature of the project within that capstone project requires me to continue with the work that I began with my participants. I had some difficult decisions to make as to how I could dedicate extra funding of my own towards the continued work of this project, in addition to fulfilling requirements of student loans.” – Jason Heap

Lynda Photo“This award is not simply financial but rather a testament to a truth I have accepted: this life is difficult but not impossible. I believe difficulty and adversity are truly opportunities and blessings in disguise – how we allow them to shape and influence our perceptions means the difference between someone who settles for what the conditions life has to offer versus someone who manifests their conditions.” – Lynda Charles



Don’t forget to apply for our Fall 2014 Scholarships before the 1 October 2014 deadline!

The full listing is found here:


Spring 2014 Graduate Scholar Award Winners

December 8, 2014

Golden Key’s scholarship recipients embody the pillars for which Golden Key stands and we are delighted to assist them in making their dreams a reality. The Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award supports members’ post-baccalaureate study at accredited universities anywhere in the world. It is our premier scholarship, awarding $10,000 USD to each recipient. We are thrilled to announce the winners of the Spring 2014 award.

The recipients (in no particular order) are:

  • Robert Sedam, The University of New Mexico, United States
  • David Knechtel, University of Alberta, Canada
  • Edna Smith, Walden University, United States
  • Shaun McCarthy, University of New Hampshire, United States
  • Steven Fencl, Ashford University, United States
  • Yolanda Silvera, Walden University, United States
  • Erasmus du Toit, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • Erin HallisySmith, Walden University, United States
  • Sarah Appleby, The University of Waikato, New Zealand
  • Sui May Koh, University Malaysia Terengganu, Malaysia


Congratulations to the winners!


Here’s what a few of the winners had to say upon receiving the award…

Sarah Appleby photo“I was absolutely amazed to be awarded the Graduate Scholar Award. Coming from a small school in New Zealand it is humbling to be recognised on an international scale. This assistance will help to support me through my master’s degree, allowing me to focus on the research and get as much out of it as I can. Thank you Golden Key for your support.” – Sarah Appleby



Steven Photo“Three years ago I went back to school to help make a better living for my family. I worked full time, took care of my family and went to school, working late into many nights to be the best I could be. I strived to set an example for my children to follow; to show them that with hard work and dedication they can accomplish their dreams. When the time of my completion of my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration drew near I was challenged to expand my thinking and become a school teacher to give back what has been given to me, a love for learning. This award from Golden Key is a great validation for my family and children that hard work can pay off. I am truly honored and humbled to be selected as a winner for the 2014 Graduate Scholar Scholarship Award-Spring Selection.” – Steven Fencl

Edna Photo“I am deeply humbled to be the recipient of the Graduate Scholar Award. As I reflect on this, I feel that this award is the culmination of twenty-five years of providing passionate, quality, patient and family centered healthcare. Receiving the Graduate Scholar Scholarship makes the confirmation of my purpose solid. And it would be remiss of me not to mention that this award relieves a financial burden as I pursue my Graduate and Doctorate degree at Walden University. Most importantly, receiving this great honor powerfully motivates me to educate, train, and prepare healthcare clinicians for the challenges they will encounter in all areas of healthcare.” – Edna Smith



Don’t forget to apply for our Fall 2014 Scholarships before the 1 October 2014 deadline!

The full listing is found here:


Spring 2014 Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship Winners

December 8, 2014

Golden Key’s scholarship recipients embody the pillars for which Golden Key stands and we are delighted to assist them in making their dreams a reality. Succeeding in higher education and helping students reach their potential is at the core of Golden Key’s mission. We created the Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship to assist in the costs of higher education. This scholarship recognizes undergraduate members for outstanding commitment to the Golden Key pillars of academics, leadership and service. We are excited to announce the winners of the Spring 2014 scholarship, who are awarded $5,000 USD each.

The recipients (in no particular order) are:

  • Bryce Link, Utah Valley University, United States
  • Luigi Pesce, New York Institute of Technology, United States
  • Catherine Baxley, University of North Texas, United States
  • Xie Li Ng, Monash University, Malaysia
  • Jennifer Zimmerman, California State University, Los Angeles, United States
  • Bliss Chang, University of Alabama at Birmingham, United States
  • Zoe Hughes, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, United States
  • Michael Birch, McMaster University, Canada
  • Lara Gentilini, Cornell University, United States
  • Liel Kenigsman, Deakin University, Australia
  • Crystal Sims, California State University, Sacramento, United States
  • Nils Deppe, The University of Winnipeg, Canada
  • Elliot Bowden, La Trobe University, Australia
  • Daniel Stribling, Florida State University, United States
  • Emily Zolfaghari, University of Southern California, United States
  • Nicole Bernardi, McGill University, Canada
  • Adam Ferris, The University of Adelaide, Australia
  • Nathan Alamillo, University of California, Santa Barbara, United States

Congratulations to the winners!

Here’s what a few of the winners had to say upon receiving the award…

Luigi stonybrook photo“This scholarship means an incredible satisfaction for such a hard-work journey filled with obstacles, but thanks to this award, obstacles seem much more possible to be knock down by hard work. This award shows me that persistence is needed for success, and that doing things differently by taking risks, does paid off at the end. Thanks to Golden Key, I am one step closer of making my dream come true, of becoming a medical doctor in America, and to be able one day to retrieve to my family and society for all the help they have done to me all over the years of college. Thank you Golden Key, for helping on the journey of making my dream closer to come true.” – Luigi Pesce


liel pic“I feel extremely privileged to be a winner of the Golden Key Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship Award. I am grateful for the opportunities that this award enables me to have. As an international student in Australia, I have been relying on family support and scholarships to finance my studies thus far. Winning this award means that it will be possible for me to continue pursuing my educational and career dreams. I hope to continue develop my professional knowledge in psychology and pursue a postgraduate program in order to enhance the mental health and well being for people around the world.” – Liel Kenigsman


NilsDeppe photo“While I was growing up in Emerson, a small town in rural Manitoba, Canada, I never would have dreamed of having the opportunities that I have been so fortunate to receive. Winning an Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship is an honour. Such an award is much more than a financial aid enabling me to continue pursuing my academic goals. It also demonstrates trust and confidence in the ability of the recipient, which provides motivation, incentive, and a sense of belonging.” – Nils Deppe

Zoe Golden Key Photo“Thanks to Golden Key, I can focus on my classes; my educational debt is substantially reduced and my goals seem a little bit closer. It is my dream to become a Professor: an expert in my field and a champion of literary education and the arts. Getting a Master’s degree from a school like UCL is the first step on the road to actualizing this vision, and becoming the professional I hope, someday, to be.” – Zoe Hughes



Elliot Bowden“I am incredibly honoured and feel that it is an immense privilege to be a recipient of the Golden Key Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship award. This opportunity allows me to continue to immerse myself in my study of paramedicine and public health promotion at La Trobe University. The Golden Key Society has provided me with a foundation on which I can build my future. By having the support that this scholarship provides I can strive to become a leader in the field of pre-hospital care and public health promotion. I cannot adequately express my gratitude to the Golden Key Society through a short statement but needless to say this is a life changing award and I am immensely thankful.” – Elliot Bowden


Don’t forget to apply for our Fall 2014 Scholarships before the 1 October 2014 deadline!

The full listing is found here:


SPARK a Change Chapter Award Winners

December 3, 2014

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.

SPARK Month 2014

December 2, 2014

Sparklogo-colorIn 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!


The University of Tennessee chapter read to the children of THRIVE Elementary

The University of Tennessee chapter read to the children of THRIVE Elementary

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.



The University of South Carolina's tutoring event

The University of South Carolina’s tutoring event

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.

Real-world preparedness
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.

UPRM's Hands ON event

UPRM’s Hands ON event

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

University of Central Florida's Book Drive

University of Central Florida’s Book Drive

Several chapters held book drives including: Eastern Kentucky University; University of Central Florida; The University of Texas-Pan American; and Missouri State University.

University of Washington's School Supply Drive

University of Washington’s School Supply Drive




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!

GK HQ Staff at Books for Africa

GK HQ Staff at Books for Africa

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 Celebrates 100,000th Member From Canada

November 20, 2014

karlaGolden 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.

2014 Key Chapter Winner Highlight: Stony Brook University

November 14, 2014

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 recreationStony Brook 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.Stony Brook1 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!



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