—This post was written by Amanda Wilson, Stephanie Matro and Krystle Gladu, the chapter advisors at American Public University System —
Golden Key kicked off its Washington, D.C. Summit on Friday, February 20th at the Embassy Suites, bringing together members from US Regions 1, 2, and 4. Regional Summit attendees enjoyed meeting new people, sharing ideas through engaging conference sessions, listening to motivational speakers, working on a creative and crafty service project, and exploring the nation’s capital.
The Golden Key Summit kicked off with the opening session. The keynote speaker was Anita Miller who’s a Golden Key Board Member and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Anita gave a motivational and uplifting speech. Golden Key Executive Director Brad Rainey shared updates from headquarters and recapped 2014 with the accomplishments of each region. The first night ended with tours of downtown D.C. and the Advisor Reception.
Saturday began with lots of snowfall and the Morning Session, which prepared attendees for the day’s events. We were also introduced to the members present from the Council of Advisors and Council of Student Members. Scholarship recipients in 2014 were also recognized.
The daily session line-up included student- and advisor-led presentations, as well as business sessions with Golden Key Headquarters. Chapter members buzzed around, talking with others and learning new methods for supporting the mission of the organization.
The SPARK a Change service event Saturday afternoon provided an opportunity for Summit attendees to donate magazines to Magazines for Literacy. Magazines were bundled for donation to homeless shelters, domestic violence victims and youth in early education, after school programs and mentoring programs. Members also created anti-bullying posters and bookmarks for local D.C. elementary schools.
Saturday evening’s formal dinner and closing session included guest speaker Jen Croneberger, author of These Five Words Are Mine. Jen enthusiastically spoke about overcoming obstacles, and using determination to propel you forward in life. Jen’s story was inspiring and full of laughs!
Brad Rainey, Golden Key’s Executive Director, concluded dinner with special recognition and a certificate presented to American Public University System, who hosted and volunteered at the Summit.
Saturday ended in style with dancing and music, provided by local DJ Floyd Minor.
Throughout the weekend, chapters met with their Headquarters representative, the Associate Director or AD (Hamiyda Scipio, Tricia Forbes or Melissa Decell were present) and discussed their progress and goals.
Sunday’s sendoff included a hearty breakfast and final farewells to friends made. Overall, the weekend was not only a lot of fun, but also a huge success and great experience!