Serving one at a time

On+January+12%2C+the+Downey+KIWIN%E2%80%99S+hosted+a+KIWIN%E2%80%99S+Training+Conference+at+Downey+High+School+to+teach+others+what+the+club+is+about.+Mr.+Gaytan%2C+their+advisor%2C+began+the+conference+by+welcoming+the+guest.+

Andrea Martinez

On January 12, the Downey KIWIN’S hosted a KIWIN’S Training Conference at Downey High School to teach others what the club is about. Mr. Gaytan, their advisor, began the conference by welcoming the guest.

Brenda Lopez, Writer

Downey High School’s KIWIN’S club hosted their annual training conference for the Diamond Division on Jan. 12, welcoming Palos Verdes, Narbonne, and South High School. As members from other schools filled the theatre the vibe was welcoming, as they showed enthusiasm to start and learn new ways to serve their community. Ice breaking activities were led by Josh Ruiz, 11, and members gave each other high fives, played different games, and cheered until it was time to start the workshops.

 

Each member chose the workshop they would be interested in and these were broken down into two sessions. The first session included What is KIWIN’S?, Key Leader, How To Plan Executive Events, Fundraising, and Spirit and Cheering. Members filled the workshops and were engaged as they interacted repeatedly with their advisers with cheer off ice breaking activities. Workshops were both informational and fun; the ultimate favorite, according to first year member Joseph Choi, 11, from South High, was Spirit and Cheering.

 

“I liked the Spirit and Cheer workshop because you get to meet new people,” Choi, 11, said. “Everyone comes out of their bubble and their not afraid to be weird.”

 

Members found most helpful and informative workshops in the second sessions. They included: Life After KIWIN’S, Kiwanis Family, Awards for DCON, Presidents Council Meeting, and Public Speaking. Previous members of the KIWIN’S club taught the workshops and shared experiences in Circle K. Circle K is a club that continues on after KIWIN’S and because the club is funded in universities like UCLA, Cal State Fullerton, and UC Berkley, members get more freedom to work on projects they take on, and they have the opportunity to continue to serve their community as leaders. The Kiwanis Family workshop was led by junior class representative, Jessica Samaniego, where she explained the importance of strengthening the relationships they have with other community serving clubs.

 

“You don’t get money out of it, but you get joy because you do things for others and the reactions on their face just make you feel so happy,” Samaniego said.

 

KIWIN’S main goal is to change the lives of others and build leaders; they constantly remind themselves of the importance of unity and serving others. As many members mentioned, KIWIN’S club is like their second family, and their happiness and smiles go beyond words.

 

“My favorite thing about being KIWIN’S is how much I’ve grown as an individual,” Robin Park, 12, South High said. “It’s a very welcoming and comfortable place to be.”

 

Mr. Gaytan the club’s adviser ended the conventions with a speech that moved members as they cheered loudly smiling was inevitable.

 

“I just wanted to say some few words from the heart. I think we should all know why we’re here,” Mr. Gaytan said. “We’re here to serve, and I hope that all of you guys are here in KIWIN’S for that soul purpose. Yes, it is about fun and it is about us building friendships but always remember why you joined KIWIN’S: to serve others, those that are need, and really hold the Kiwanis band. I was so moved to tears and so inspired to see members from Circle K come back because this is the goal, to produce leaders that come back and don’t give up.”

 

The KIWIN’S family ended with a cheer off and went on home learning from the experience they had just witnessed. Dcon is next and they can’t wait to reunite with their Diamond Division Family.