Unlocking community

Expanding volunteer opportunities on event at a time


Lauren Sexton

Vanessa Partida, junior, will be the vice president for the 2023-24 school year.

Running in countless high schools around the country, Key Club is an international student-led organization that provides opportunities to volunteer around communities. The West Linn Key Club has been running for seven years ever since Kaleyn Lim, class of 2018 alum, started it during her junior year.

The club has a fee of $15 to be a member, as the club is sponsored by Kiwanis, a non-profit organization that utilizes the money from memberships to help provide local service projects. There are also treats provided at the end of every club meeting.

The club is structured based on positions students can run for. These roles include event coordinator, treasurer, president, vice president, publicist, and secretary. At the beginning of every February, the club holds an election for these positions, and club members vote on the officers for the following year. 

This year, numerous people ran for at least one of these roles. However, the only person to apply for the president position was Matthew Hioe, junior. Hioe was president in the 2022-2023 school year, meaning the 2023-2024 school year will be his second year as president. Hioe has been an officer since sophomore year as the club’s treasurer, and a member of the club since freshman year. 

“I wanted to become president because of the challenge,” Hioe said. “The opportunity to utilize my time in the best way possible also stuck out to me.” 

Hioe’s responsibilities include creating slideshows displayed during monthly meetings located in room A105, helping organize events, and answering questions related to the club. Considering all these tasks, Hioe has found the position rewarding.

“I have enjoyed my time as president and the opportunities it has brought me,” Hioe said. “I cannot think of any downsides or complaints.”

Hioe also attends monthly meetings with higher-ups and lieutenant governors of the clubs division, specifically Tali Greenfield. Greenfield is the lieutenant governor and representative for the club’s division, and helps orchestrate events while also aiding in officer training.

In addition, Hioe is in contact with presidents from other schools such as Lake Oswego, Lakeridge, Tigard, Tualatin, and Sherwood. During their meetings, the presidents discuss general volunteering opportunities as well as ways to try and get their schools together at events to socialize and volunteer together.

Before Hioe’s presidency, his sister, Amanda Hioe, class of 2021 alum, was president of the club. Watching his sister allowed him to better understand the ways of being a president and encouraged him to be a part of the club.

Watching her as the president pushed me to become an officer initially, but not for the presidential spot,” Hioe said. “The opportunity was there for me, and I took it because I wanted to take the challenge. But, I did learn from her how to organize events and she really taught me how to keep in contact with my officers better.”

While Hioe’s sister was president, she faced the challenges and setbacks of COVID-19. During this time, the club had to figure out new ways to still get volunteering opportunities out there while still keeping everyone safe.

“During COVID-19, it was a little different because our volunteering was at home and we were a lot more creative with the different kinds of ways to get people active in the club,” Hioe said. “But once we got out of [COVID-19], we transitioned [to] in-person volunteering and doing what Key Club is meant to be about.”

Soon to be working alongside Hioe is Vanessa Partida, junior. The 2022-2023 school year was Partida’s first year as a club officer, where she took the role of one of the club’s event coordinators. This election, she ran for event coordinator again, but also vice president. She was elected for the position of vice president.

Becoming vice president presents more responsibilities, such as overseeing officer activity and helping everyone in tasks as needed. This position also includes attending the club division’s presidential meetings alongside or in place of Hioe, when he is unable to attend. Nevertheless, Partida was up for the challenge.

“I wanted a more challenging position and one that would allow me to contribute more to the club,” Partida said. “I am really excited to take the role of vice president. I am motivated to see how I can contribute to the club in a different way, and I am really looking forward to working more with other clubs and [Hioe].”

While Partida was one of the event coordinators, her main focus was to organize volunteering events.. This role did not call for as much leadership compared to the role of vice president. Partida has found benefits to taking a greater position in the club.

“I think I will enjoy having a broader role in the club, as I really do love the position of event coordinator, and it has given me the opportunity to connect with so many local organizations in the community,” Partida said. “But in the future, it will be nice to possibly contribute ideas to potential volunteer events, while also being able to help out in other areas of the club.”

Key Club runs all year round and welcomes all who are willing to participate in events around the community. Over the years, the club has grown in size, with the previous year having roughly 50 people in the club, and this year containing 70.

“It’s a fun and easy way to get a better resume, some experience in volunteering, and there really are no downsides,” Hioe said.

The club’s main focus is to provide people the opportunity to help their community in a positive way.

“We do events as a club sometimes and it’s nice to see the impact that you make on a community,” Partida said.

The charity the club helps the most regularly is Bikes 4 Kids, an organization that allows volunteers to clean and repair donated bikes. These bikes will then be given to kids and families in need.

Students can become a member of the club at the beginning of every school year. The club holds meetings that take place on the first Monday of every month in room A105. The club has an Instagram to update its followers on upcoming events, volunteer of the month, and reminders for the clubs monthly meetings.