ZAHS receives charter for Japan's first Key Club
CAMP ZAMA, Japan -- Zama American High School was officially recognized as home to Japan's first Key Club when Kiwanis International Japan District formally presented the ZAHS Key Club with its charter Jan. 9 during a ceremony in the school's auditorium.
According to Kiwanis.org, KI is a global community of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and community at a time. KI has clubs in 80 nations that fall within districts, making up regions all over the world. Service is at the heart of every Kiwanis club, no matter where in the world it's located. Members stage nearly 150,000 service projects and raise nearly $100 million every year for communities, families and projects.
Key Clubs, sponsored by Kiwanis, are the oldest and largest service organizations for teens, focusing on service to children and communities as well.
During the ceremony, Yasuo Kurata, governor of KI Japan District, presented Angelica Bowlin, ZAHS senior and ZAHS Key Club president, with the charter before an audience of Key Club members, faculty, staff and several members of KI.
Michelle Simmer, ZAHS history and Spanish teacher, said after the KI Japan District's Club of Tokyo and she agreed to serve as sponsors, the ZAHS Key Club members worked to meet the requirements and had informally received the charter Sept. 30, 2015.
"This is a great opportunity and once-in-a-lifetime moment that's not only special for our school and Key Club members but also to Japan, because we're the first ever Key Club," said Bowlin.
"I'm so amazed at the students' eagerness to have a Key Club and will help them in any way I can," said Kurata. "I believe this will be a wonderful club!"
Bowlin said her goal is for the Key Club members to visit children at several orphanages and help feed the homeless during the remainder of her presidency.
Founding a charter for a Key Club at ZAHS was the goal of Kristina Aglibot - a senior who moved earlier this month and the club's immediate former president - who approached Simmer for support when she was a freshman three years ago.
"Her friends in the States had told her about the Key Club and the positive impact it has on children around the world," said Simmer. "After research and determination, today we have a Kiwanis Key Club at Zama American High School, the first one in Japan."