Jason Stewart began his Kiwanis-family service through Key Club and continued with Circle K, eventually becoming the 2009–2010 CKI President. Jason discusses his journey with the Kiwanis family and how he’s found a place to connect with others and fulfill a passion for service.
Jason attended Salem High School in Ohio, where he was a member of Key Club for four years. After high school Jason moved to Wooster, Ohio, where he attended the College of Wooster. Jason was attracted to this small-town college because of its size, its closeness to home and its marching band—he played the trombone.
Had he not already been part of the Kiwanis family, Jason may have just stuck to marching band—missing out on an exciting opportunity. But his involvement in Key Club, he says, led him to Circle K.
For Jason, one of the best parts of Circle K, like Kiwanis in general, is the development of lifelong relationships. He explained that no matter where he goes in the world he feels he is not alone, “being a part of Circle K means that you are connected at an international level”, which is rare to find.
For Jason, Circle K also presented new ways of experiencing service and leadership. For instance, he ran for Circle K president. “It was an opportunity to lead in a larger way than before,” he says. Jason enjoyed being a part of the behind the scenes work and building new relationships. And he wanted to put his years of experience with Kiwanis into leading a board and supporting members around the world.
Now that he’s an alumnus, he can look at the entire Kiwanis experience—and what makes it different from other service organizations. “We don’t just focus on service,” he says. “We also focus on family.” In other words, he adds, “not just service for service’s sake” but the chance to make a real connection with others through that service.
In fact, Jason has stayed in contact with his fellow alumni and has even built a network of friends including board members and club members. His SLP experience also serves him well: he is the Conference and Events Planner at the National Youth Leadership Council, a national nonprofit that promotes service-learning in schools and communities. It’s a way to continue his passion for service through an organization that strives “for a world where all young people are valued and called upon to lead.”