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You’ve Got a Friend in Me

Updated: Nov 6, 2019

by VIVIANO GONZALEZ - Service club members discuss their reason for participating in groups that seek to do good in the world.

WESTFIELD, Ind. (Sep. 2019) - Every big change in the world has begun with a spark, a voice, an idea that eventually rewrote and reshaped the world as we know it. Here in Westfield, those little sparks take the form of service clubs, made up of people that help make the world a better place in one way or another.

Most of the time, these clubs use fairs, announcements and publicity from teachers or old members spreading the message of their club in order to get new students involved in them.

“Mahamat Djour [12] made me interested in Dance Marathon, and ever since I’ve worked in it, it has made me enjoy it more each year,” Alex Coulombe (11) said. “My favorite thing about participating in Dance Marathon is the community of people. They’re all great, wholesome people.”

The first step and foundation of the service clubs is recruiting new members to pass the torch onto new generations and oversee their accomplishments. The surplus of people ensures that strong bonds will develop between members of the clubs. Consequently, members like Coulombe can feel the change that being involved in such a club brings for them through time.

“I feel like it has made me change for the better,” Coulombe said. “I’ve learned to be a better leader, to be more appreciative of the things surrounding me, to be more positive and optimistic too.”

In some cases, members already had a strong sense of service before high school and continued to refine those qualities when they joined their clubs. Moreover, they also felt the pleasure of the little things that come after a job well done.

“I joined because I had already belonged to a service club in middle school and wanted to continue on through high school,” Emma Tragesser (11) said. “My favorite part of Key Club is going to the social events we do. We get to hang out with our friends after the service projects and it feels very rewarding.

Members like Tragesser encompassed the characteristics of a veteran that new members looked up to when adapting to new club environments. She also expressed the benefits of reaching out and expanding the club.

“You can always meet new people at the club, and the more people there are, [that means] it gets more fun,” Tragesser said.

However, some people had more personal reasons to join a service club and help to improve their surroundings.

“I joined Unified Track because I have a sister with special needs, and I like to help people with special needs,” Gavin Yoakum (11) said.

A drive like this is what makes the greatest members: the resolution from emotions as well as the will to carry them on is always met with open arms. In addition, the motivation of Yoakum and his fellow members to continue to belong to a service club can be used to encourage other members to join a service club.

“What motivates me to be in UT is seeing the kids happy, to see that there’s always someone they can rely on and to give them an opportunity to do activities like any other kid,” Yoakum said.

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