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Discover Key Leader

A Weekend Leadership Experience

Key Leader by Kiwanis is a weekend leadership program for high school and graduating 8th Grade students. Our mission is to inspire young people to achieve their personal best through service leadership. Key Leader has served more than 34,000 students at 693 Key Leader events in 40 U.S. states, 7 Canadian provinces, Malaysia, Brazil, Cayman Islands, The Bahamas, El Salvador and Singapore.

Facilitation Team

Each Key Leader program is led by a qualified and certified Lead Facilitator, who oversees the implementation of the curriculum and leads all large group sessions.

Volunteer Led

Key Leader programs are organized and led by teams of volunteers dedicated to the development of youth and service leadership. All Kiwanis volunteers and chaperones obtain background checks and follow the Kiwanis Youth Protection Guidelines.

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Key Leader Curriculum

33,000 newly inspired leaders over 15 years. Key Leader helps students find their fit.

Learning Methods

The Key Leader program includes large and small group discussions, personal reflection time, a "challenge course," and video-based activities. Participants reflect on their values, learn to set goals, and walk through the 6 Key Leader Principles.

Service Leadership

The program is based on the idea of "Service Leadership" as introduced by Robert Greenleaf in his 1970 essay, "To Serve as Leader." He wrote, "Becoming a servant-leader begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead."

Personal Integrity

Participants learn and discuss how their actions reflect their personal values, and are introduced to "The Collector of Bedford Street." The documentary follows Larry Selman, a community activist and fundraiser who had an intellectual disability.

Personal Growth

Key Leader participants discuss the importance of personal growth. They learn to take calculated risks and to focus on incremental improvements for themselves and their community through videos, discussions, and a challenge course.


During the "Respect" portion of a Key Leader program, participants discuss and debate what it means to respect themselves, others in their community, and their surroundings.


Participants learn to encourage and utilize the different interests and talents of those in their school and local communities for positive change.


Key Leader participants end the weekend by learning goal setting strategies and using them to create a plan for their personal development and future as service leaders!