By, Jamie “Jim” Hernandez, Key Club and CKI Alumni
First I have to say that I am grateful to the entire Kiwanis organization for having such an effect on my life. Please let me explain why. I joined Key Club in 1977 with still friend Ken, whom I am still close with. Joining CKI was an obvious choice. In Circle K I met my wife (of 21 years), and several other friends who after almost 30 years I still stay in contact with. Relationships with liked minded people was one of the greatest benefits I received as a CKI member. Other benefits that have helped my career and community were the leadership and public speaking skills I learned with in CKI.
I was recognized with some awards in my district, but my most valuable rewards were the fun we shared as friends, and the difference we made in our campus communities, like hosting the Halloween party at our local long term care children’s hospital.
After CKI, I immediately joined Kiwanis and have been a member for all of but one of the past 26 years. 5 Kiwanis clubs later I have been a club president twice (Distinguished both times). Today, I own my business, am on the board of our chamber of commerce, and regularly am invited to emcee and act as auctioneer at local fund raising events thanks to that original training. Participation in my club and district in CKI were the key to my personal success and developing the habit of wanting to make a difference. A few years ago my wife and I were comparing our busy schedules of work, family, and community efforts. We look at each other and asked one another why we keep ourselves so busy in the community. The answer "it is who we are and how we met". Thanks to CKI we found each other.