Kiwanis International President Daniel Vigneron wrote in the December 2019 issue of Kiwanis magazine of his experience at the Key Leader program in Junction City, Kansas.

“Key Leader offers activities to teach young people how to be community-minded, listen well, take action and be persuasive in the most positive ways,” he wrote. “I was impressed by the level of respect shown not only to me, but to the teenagers’ advisors and chaperones.”

Respect is one of five principles emphasized in the Key Leader curriculum. It, along with integrity, growth, community and excellence, demonstrates why Key Leader is more than a program — it’s a community-building asset.

Key Leader students have gone on to start Key Clubs and to serve at all levels of Key Club International. Many go on to become CKI members or Kiwanians.

Beyond its role as a service to the youth of one’s community —and one that is uniquely tied to Kiwanis — Key Leader grows Kiwanis. Maybe that’s why it makes for a perfect Signature Project for any Kiwanis Club, Kiwanis District, Key Club, or CKI club.

New Key Clubs — Key Leader events take place in almost every U.S. state and several Canadian provinces on an annual basis. These programs get students excited about the idea of leading a service initiative in their community. That service initiative could very well be founding their own Key Club.

Better school communities — The current generation of high school and college students are the loneliest in recorded history. Sponsoring a Key Leader event for a single high school or district offers leadership training to students who may not receive it, gets students excited to serve and can establish new friendships. Each of those are essential to healthy high school communities.

Identify new Kiwanians — Co-sponsoring a local Key Leader event with a Parent-Teacher Association or through a district’s counseling staff engages more people in the Kiwanis experience. Not only are people exposed to Kiwanis when their kid attends a Key Leader program, but recruiting parents or teachers as chaperones is a great way to share the magic of service with a wider audience.

Key Leader is uniquely Kiwanis. It is more than a leadership program. It is a service that only we can offer to high school-aged students around the world.

Email Nik Koulogeorge to talk about adopting Key Leader as your club’s Signature Project.

Visit to register a student for a Key Leader program in your area.