Transitioning from Key Club to Circle K
Transitioning from Key Club to Circle K

Transitioning from Key Club to Circle K

I’m sure all of us love our Kiwanis family. Maybe you love it because of the people you met in Circle K. Or maybe it’s because you admire and adore those Kiwanians and alumni who laid the groundwork that our club is built upon today. If you’re like me, and I’m sure a lot of you are, you love Kiwanis for all of those reasons plus one more: your journey within this wonderful family began in Key Club.

To me, Key Club was everything in high school. It gave me a place where I could give back to the community. It gave me a place where I could be myself free of outside judgment. When I started my senior year of high school, I was worried because I didn’t know what my life would be like after Key Club. I was scared of the next step and I’m sure many of you were as well, whether you were in Key Club or not. Going from a general member to an executive officer in four years was scary enough, but now I had to do it all over again as I entered college. I was completely lost.

When I got to Cal State Fullerton, I was sure I would join Circle K because my roots traced back to the Kiwanis family. I was so certain that I would go to every service event, every meeting, and every social, but then the fear came back. I realized that Circle K was completely different from Key Club. Unlike Key Club, everyone in Circle K welcomes each other no matter where you’re from or what you’ve done, and for some reason that scared me. A part of me felt undeserving of that welcome because I hadn’t done anything in the club yet. It was because of this that I held myself back in the club. I thought I had to do something great in order to feel deserving of being welcomed.

It was only recently that I came to the realization that I don’t have to start from complete scratch within Circle K. From my perspective, it seemed like Circle K would sometimes criticize Key Club, so when I joined, I tried letting go of my Key Club past, not realizing that was my biggest mistake. Maybe some of you went through something similar or maybe you didn’t, but if you did or still are, I want to say this: you shouldn’t be ashamed or afraid of your past. You should embrace it as a tool to create your future and maybe even go further within the Kiwanis family. Key Club and Circle K may be different in a lot of ways, but we can use those differences to strengthen our club, bringing what we’ve learned from Key Club to Circle K. Who knows, maybe high schoolers can teach college kids something for once.


  1. Josephine Pham

    Very well said.

    I felt the same way where I tried to let go of my Key Club past because of the stigma around it but to me, Key Club was a very big part of my life on how much I have grown and developed the skills I have today. I don’t know why I tend to go along with my peers when it came to poking fun of the organization that made a positive impact on me or even why I felt ashamed to say that I was in Key Club. At the end of the day, I would feel guilty that I neglected my involvement with the club and that I took it for granted.

    Everyone had different experiences, good or bad, however I can say that for me, it was a good one because I wouldn’t be in this club if it weren’t for Key Club. I hope that as Circle K grows, people learn to accept that not everyone in Key Club are clout chasers, but are potential leaders that can guide maybe even this Circle K club to higher goals. I should not be ashamed, I really am a proud Key Club member.

    Thank you for this article.

  2. Henry Pham

    I know us Circle K’ers don’t have the best impression of Key Clubbers and tend to give them hard time. I never really thought about how that affects incoming Circle K members from Key Club so thank you for bringing that to light dude!

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