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Key Club, it fits just right.

As a timid freshman who knew nothing about high school, Steven Tan practically joined every club his school offered in search of where he would best fit in. Then he joined Key Club—and the search was over.

But he had to overcome some hesitation first. “I dreaded planting, pruning and fertilizing the endless rows of chitalpa tree saplings,” Steven says. “However, after seeing the buds bloom into vibrant pink blossoms over the next few months, I felt a part of me blooming as well.”

This led Steven to start attending more service events. It didn’t take long until he started leading them.

In fact, he truly started to care about giving back to the community, rather than simply fulfilling service hours. Now a senior, Steven finds it crazy that the “socially awkward” freshman he was three years ago would be interested in doing anything but staying at home and playing League of Legends. It was Key Club that pushed him outside of his comfort zone and transformed him into a leader.

In fact, Steven sees now that he was on a journey of self-realization. And the the map was his to create.

“Superheroes are not defined by their superpowers, or even the fancy outfits they wear,” he says. “They’re defined by their motivation and determination to make a difference.”

And Key Club members are superheroes for their communities. For Steven, it didn’t matter whether the difference was made by beautifying a local park or fundraising for The Eliminate Project—either way, he was changing the world around him. And he was changing himself in a way that lasts.

“Although my time in Key Club feels ephemeral,” he says, “my gratitude is definitely eternal.”

Key Club alumni, have you shared your story with us yet? Tell us your favorite memory, or about the kind of impact Key Club had on you. Big or small, we want them all!

Growing plant
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