Golden Key International Honour Society recently hosted its 29th International Summit July 26- 29, in Atlanta, Ga., on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology. Members from around the world, including South Africa, Canada, the United States, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and more, came together to participate in workshops, network and make connections with other members, and learn valuable information to bring back to their chapters. Summit brought together a diverse group of ambitious, scholarly college students and advisors who are like-minded in their goals yet varied in their perspectives and experiences.
Thursday, July 26, began with meetings of our leadership (Board of Directors, International Leadership Council, Council of Advisors and Council of Student Members). Attendees arrived throughout the day and spent time exploring the campus. Summit kicked off in the evening with Opening Session where everyone was welcomed by a drum line performance to get the energy rolling.
Executive Director Brad Rainey opened the session by welcoming attendees and played a new video to introduce our new “Stand Out, Stand Up, and Stand Together” campaign. The video is aimed at encouraging and motivating members to stand up for causes they believe in and make a difference in the world. Next came the spirit competitions. Each region cheered and chanted… the enthusiasm was contagious!
To close the Opening Session, our keynote speaker Haley Kilpatrick addressed the crowd. Haley is the founder and Executive Director of Girl Talk, a nonprofit where high school girls mentor middle school girls. Following the Opening Session, there was a Networking Reception where delegates got to eat and mingle.
The second day of Summit was filled with workshops. In all, 30 different workshops were presented by different speakers with a large variety of topics, such as how to become a successful leader, landing a job in a tough economy, networking, team building, community service involvement, interviewing skills, financial smarts and more. When asked what their favorite workshop was, attendees answered varied. Rebecca Woestman said that she attended “three amazing workshops! It is a close competition but my favorite was given by our University of Hawaii Manoa chapter- showing me how to create a values-centered chapter.” Some responses from other attendees were: Kathy Augustine enjoyed the H.E.R.O. workshop that taught leadership skills and had an indoor obstacle course; Eddie Lawando thought Budgeting for Success: Tips for Being a Successful Chapter Treasurer presented by BillHighway was extremely helpful; and Amanda Lewandowski thought “the ladies at FIU were so helpful and had amazing ideas” at the New Member Recruitment workshop.
From 10am-4pm there was an EXPO/ Career Fair and an interactive marketplace. In the marketplace, there was an OMG Photo Booth, students danced with the Dance Central video game, created coloring books for patients at a children’s hospital, and more! During EXPO students were able to network with GEICO, The Princeton Review, Better World Books, G Adventures, Robert Half International, Grant Thorton International Ltd, Shopraising Mall, BOFI Federal Bank, Georgia State University Robinson College of Business, The PhD Project, GMAT and the International Scholar Laureate Program.
After all the workshops and EXPO were over, students were given free time to explore Atlanta or participate in bowling and other fun activities set up on campus. Advisors attended their Town Hall, followed by an enjoyable Advisor VIP Reception at the Academy of Medicine… the advisors even broke out in song!
Saturday began with our Global Stand service projects sponsored by GEICO in the refugee community of Clarkston, Ga. Golden Key partnered with Project Live Love to host a variety of service projects such as delivering groceries, painting at the International Bible Church, planting at the Jolly Avenue Community Gardens, hosting a kids’ carnival and block party and more. Golden Key would like to thank our individual donors and GEICO for their support with the service projects.
After the service projects lunch was served and then attendees went straight into their regional meetings. Associate Directors from each region covered important business details for the coming year including chapter standards, budgeting and more.
To wrap up the Summit, Golden Key hosted the International Gala and Awards at the beautiful Georgia Aquarium Saturday night. Amidst the picturesque setting of whales and creatures swimming by, a wonderful dinner was served, Key Chapter Awards were handed out and many notable people were recognized.
To close it all off, our keynote speaker, Kyle Maynard, addressed the crowd. Kyle is a motivational speaker, author, entrepreneur and athlete. He was born with a congenital condition that caused his arms to end at the elbows and legs near the knees. Despite his disability, Kyle is a champion wrestler, weight lifter and recently became the first man to crawl on his own to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. His speech was moving, inspirational and overall the perfect way to end such an extraordinary event.
Golden Key would like to thank everyone that attended and helped out at the 2012 International Summit. Visit our Facebook page to view more photos.