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“Someone else will make the choice if you don’t.”

July 1, 2016

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On Saturday, 2 July Australians will be voting to elect all 226 members of Parliament in the first double dissolution election since 1987.

Earlier in the year, as part of the Golden Key Asia-Pacific Conference 2016: Be the Change in February, a Q&A Panel discussion centred upon the topic of “Why should I care about politics?” to question the importance of politics and political engagement, particularly regarding the younger generation. This panel was especially pertinent as 2016 is an important year for politics with the Australian federal election on July 2 and the United States presidential election on November 8.

Recent figures from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) show that the 18 to 24-year-old demographic has the worst numbers on voter enrolment. Approximately half of all 18-year-olds, and a total of nearly 350,000 young people, are not enrolled to vote in the upcoming federal election where voting is mandatory.

Discussion topics included issues such as disenchantment with Australian politics and a lack of representation within the political parties for matters that notably concerned younger Australians. Also discussed was the accusation that political parties are more concerned with holding power than implementing policy change and social progression. Students in the audience were encouraged not to disengage with politics, as panel member Dr Andrea Carson succinctly stated: “Someone else will make the choice if you don’t.”

The panel examined the importance of mandatory voting and how the youth vote carries significant power in shaping the future. In countries like Australia and the United States, being able to vote is a democratic right and something that all of us need to take responsibility for. This point was emphasised by panel member Akram Azimi who noted that democracy was not a universal privilege open to all, as his family had arrived in Australia 13 years ago from Afghanistan.

The panel was made up of prominent members of the community. This included: Akram Azimi, 2013 Young Australian of the Year; Adam Bandt MP, the Federal Member for Melbourne; Dr Andrea Carson, Media and Politics lecturer at the University of Melbourne; and Professor Michael Leach, Professor in Politics and International Relations at Swinburne University of Technology. The discussion was moderated by Frances Bell, a Victorian State Political reporter with the ABC News.

Community Service in Cambodia

June 17, 2016

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In early April 2016, four students of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) – Kenneth Chaw Vui Ken, Aniza Hanis binti Abd Aziz, Ho Woon Ping, and Maria Ameina binti Ahmad, completed eight days of community service in Takeo Cambodia as part of their Chapter’s Golden Key community service. The hours contributed by our three members, will goes towards the SPARK a Change initiative.

These students were placed at Happy Land of Caring for the Poor and Orphaned Children Foundation (CPOC) for eight days where they worked alongside ten other volunteers from various countries to help improve the education facilities of the province.

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Activities during the volunteers’ stay included teaching the children Mathematics and English every evening between the hours of 2-6pm. Classes were divided according to age, with most students aged between 12-16 years. Besides teaching, UTM volunteers also aided in improving the facilities of the centre, such as making a door and renovating the volunteer house and school, and building a chicken coop. Volunteers also put up a fence around the centre to keep the children safe and also met and interacted with the local community through sports and games. The experience was educational and eye-opening for the volunteers as they learnt about the economic, cultural and educational differences between their own country and Cambodia.

This rewarding experience required a lot of preparation prior to departure, with students crowdfunding their venture several months in advance. This was done through social media and a physical booth set up on university campus where funders were given a sticker to write wishes and messages for the children helped by CPOC. The money raised from this initiative surpassed expectations which meant that school supplies such as books, stationery and a bookshelf were bought for the centre to be used by the children.

 

SPARK a Change is our global service initiative with the mission to bring all our Chapters together towards a common objective: to impact and improve the lives of at-risk youth across the globe through literacy, education and real-world preparedness.

Meet Our New Partner Homeland HealthCare

June 8, 2016

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Supplemental Benefits Open Enrollment

Golden Key International Honour Society (Golden Key) is excited to announce that we have teamed up with the health insurance experts at Homeland HealthCare, LLC (Homeland) to offer a new health insurance program for Golden Key Members in the U.S.! The Open Enrollment period provides the opportunity for you and your eligible dependents to enroll in a variety of health insurance benefits.

This enrollment allows you to get benefits that pay cash directly to you! Since your major medical may not pay for everything like co-payments or deductibles, these valuable benefits help you protect your financial well-being!

Available Benefits Include:

Supplemental Insurance Benefits:

  • Accident Insurance

Accident Insurance includes benefits payable for initial treatment, therapy, and follow-ups for injuries like fractures, dislocations, lacerations, concussions.

  • Cancer Insurance

This coverage helps you focus on getting well instead of being distracted by the costs of medical and personal bills.

  • Critical Illness Insurance

This coverage is designed to protect you if you experience a catastrophic event, such as a heart attack or stroke. This plan has no deductibles, copayments or network restrictions- you can choose your own medical treatment provider!

  • Legal and Identity Theft Protection

This legal protection plan offers free and discounted legal care, tax preparation and advice, financial education and credit counseling along with identity theft protection and solutions and life counseling.

  • Term Life Insurance

Don’t be worried about paying off a mortgage, children’s education, or replacing income in the event of a death. With Term Life Insurance, you can help protect your loved ones through the tough times.

Non-Insured Benefits

This package of benefits offers non-insurance discounts and services that help you save money and can be used for your whole family. A sample of the benefits in the bundle includes:

  • Telehealth

Use Telehealth for many of your medical issues instead of expensive and timely ER and urgent care visits. Consult with board certified, U.S.-based doctors 24/7, 365 days a year. By phone or online video, you can obtain diagnoses for simple illnesses and prescription medication when necessary.

  • Patient Advocacy

Advisors will assist you with healthcare needs including finding doctors and healthcare facilities in your area, obtaining best available pricing for procedures and prescriptions, and can even schedule appointments.

To learn more about available benefits, visit http://www.gkspecialbenefits.com.

Don’t miss your chance to enroll in these great benefits. You can contact a Homeland Benefit Advisor with any questions you may have. They will also enroll you during your phone call!

(877) 664-0587

Monday through Friday

8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central Time

 

 

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

June 2, 2016

Jennifer-Sands-webWe’ve all heard it before, “Ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough.” But what do the lyrics of this popular song really say? One might be led to believe after further listening that the overall theme behind this treasured song is that there isn’t anything that can stand in the way when it comes to love. If we ask recent graduate of Metropolitan State University of Denver; Jennifer Ann-Marie Sands whether she agreed with our interpretation, we think she would not only agree but also credit it to the reasoning behind much of her very own success.

On Saturday, May 14, 2016, Sands graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver Summa Cum Laude with a 3.95 GPA. As though an academic record such as Sands is not impressive enough, the bright scholar also managed to juggle raising 7 children, working full time, and participate in various student groups; one of which being Golden Key International Honour Society where she served as Vice President of Graduate Relations. All of this while struggling with deafness in both ears. How you ask?

The health care management major and accounting minor would tell you with the utmost confidence that it was no easy to feat. “There were some tears, and not much sleep, but I wasn’t going to let anything stop me,” said Sands. More important than her own determination would be the support of those who would climb mountains for her; her family. “This is not just my accomplishment,” says Sands. “It’s my family’s accomplishment. I could not have done it without a very supportive husband, amazing parents, and my kids along the way.” Experiencing the milestone of graduation is only going to mean that much more sharing it with family and friends.

Sands now, more than ever looks forward to the next chapter of her academic journey – starting a graduate program in the fall to study accounting with an emphasis in fraud detection. Her plans thereafter are to join the FBI as a Fraud Investigator helping those in need and with the support of her family and friends, its clear there isn’t a mountain high enough for Sands to climb.

Written by Dominique Sherrod

Books For Learning

May 27, 2016

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On Saturday 13 February 2016, delegates from the Golden Key Asia-Pacific Conference 2016: Be the Change collaborated with the Global Coalition for Change in Melbourne, Australia to assist with the Books for Learning Project.

 

Thousands of donated children’s books were cleaned, sorted into age groups and repacked to be sent to schools, kindergartens, community centres and libraries around rural Australia and Papua New Guinea.

David Perrin, Relationships Manager at the Global Coalition for Change, explained that there are still many children in the world who do not have access to basic reading materials and physical resources. We are excited to help thousands of children improve their literacy skills and be able to share the joy of reading.

 

This project truly empowered our delegates to ‘Be the Change’ and help improve the lives of the next generation. Members accrued over 120 hours of community service, and their hard work has affected over 10,000 lives, all towards the SPARK a Change initiative.

Associate Director Spotlight – Sarah Dennis

May 16, 2016

Sarahblogheadshot Sarah Dennis is an Associate Director US Member Engagement at the Golden Key Headquarters here in Atlanta Georgia. Sarah will be responsible for grassroots membership communication and helping local Golden Key chapters drive awareness and launch events on campus. She oversees the US Southeast region, which include universities located in states such as Alabama, Georgia and Florida. We were lucky to catch her in between her busy schedule to learn more about this staff member!

Where are you from/ where did you grow up? I grew up in sunny South Florida! I was born and raised in Boca Raton, just north of Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

Where did you go to college? I am a double Seminole! My bachelor’s and master’s degrees are from Florida State University.

What did you study in school/ major in? As an undergrad I was a Management major, with a minor in Hospitality Management and a certificate in Emergency Management and Homeland Security. I then earned my Master’s in Business Administration while working for Florida State University in the Office of Internships & Career Services.

What are your hobbies? I love to hike, cook, and cuddle up with a good book. I’m very interested in politics and economic policy. In Atlanta I hope to volunteer for Make-a-Wish and the Humane Society.

What is your favorite quote? “Those that do well must also do good.”

What is your favorite sport? I love to watch college football. Go Noles!

What is your favorite TV show? I love shows like No Reservations, House of Cards, Criminal Minds, New Girl and Modern Family!

What excites you the most about working at Golden Key? Getting to work with students from all over the Southeast! And also the amazing team in the headquarters, I have the best coworkers.

Fun Fact: I am new to Atlanta, so I am having the best time exploring my new city. The first time I saw snow was just a few weeks ago when I woke up to flurries covering Atlanta!

 

It Takes A Village

May 11, 2016

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What is a traditional family? According to most definitions, a traditional family is made up of a man, a woman and one or more of their biological children. However, did you know that more than 50% of children in the US do not come from or live in “traditional family” environments? This is according to http://www.pewresearch.org. In addition every spring while children anticipate summer break, single parents dread the approaching season due to lack of financial resources to accommodate their children during the day while they work.

It was once said that, “it takes a village to raise a child”; which essentially states that the efforts of raising a child are communal and not solely that of the parents. This concept can be seen in various cultures, religions and institutions across the world; Golden Key International Honour Society included. In an effort to do our part, Golden Key has partnered with Kiddos Atlanta to provide safe, educational, affordable and accessible day time care.

Kiddos Camp is a 5 week STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) camp that will provide 3 meals a day to 45 of its campers, along with a wide range of physical and curricular activities. Camp will begin on May 31st and end on July 1st. Scholarships have been made available to those with a financial need due to the funds raised by GK chapters across the nation; enabling a variety of students to attend. This morning was GK Kiddos Camp Kickoff and it went exceptionally well with parents, counselors and staff alike. We look forward to an amazing 5 weeks with our “kiddos”.

Written by Dominique Sherrod

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