When Hannah Porter was first asked to join a Kiwanis club, she had no idea that she would be a trendsetter. After joining the Denver Tech Center Kiwanis Club, she noticed immediately that the group was dynamic and diverse.
And she especially came to enjoy working with Rock Cannon High School Key Club that her Kiwanis club sponsors—including the US$10,000 the Key Clubbers raised for a sister school in Costa Rica. But all that energy and diversity makes her worry about what’s lost when many Key Clubbers and CKI members don’t stay connected with the Kiwanis family after graduation.
So Hannah took action: She began to create interclub relationships with other Kiwanians in the Denver area who are young professionals in their twenties and thirties. In addition to their active Kiwanis-club membership, they get together for monthly happy hour meetings with the other young professionals.
Each month, a different person plans a service project. So far, the group has provided dinner to an after-school program, participated in fundraiser walks and more.
By working together, these young professionals enjoy an extra level of comfort with the Kiwanis family. Now that word is spreading, prospective Kiwanians in the young-professional age group are often connected with the group by the Kiwanians who recruit them. It’s proving to be a great way to connect younger members with their peers in the community while assimilating them into the more age-diverse membership of their Kiwanis clubs.
By serving as mentors to potential Kiwanians, the young professionals are also providing a possible model for other Kiwanis-family programs. For example, K-Kids can be mentored as they move into middle school by Builders Club members, who can be mentored as they become Key Clubbers—and so on, each getting familiar with “what’s next” along the way until they reach adulthood and the chance to join a Kiwanis club.
If you’re interested in connecting young, professional Kiwanians in a city or region, Hannah would be happy to talk to you. Learn about the process and get some ideas on making it a success in your area. Just email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.