Volunteer organization encourages students to join their circle

Katie Alberti

Amy Meyer, freshman fashion merchandising major, buries her head in her hands as she tries to remember all the volunteer service she’s done for her application for the Circle K club. Katie Burger, senior early childhood major, greets friends that she me

Credit: Steve Schirra

While walking to class, it’s hard not to look down at the ground and read about various Kent State organizations written in chalk.

One of the groups is Circle K: a volunteer organization dedicated to helping children.

As reported on Circle K’s Web site, the organization is committed to “developing college and university students into responsible citizens and leaders with a lifelong commitment to serving the children of the world.”

Circle K President Nick Buchser said volunteering for the organization is a smart idea because it prepares students for the future.

“It’s a great way to meet people at Kent State and people from all over Ohio,” Buchser said. “Since Kiwanis is our sponsoring organization, it’s also a great way to meet Kiwanians in the business world. Students are able to network and find out about internships, scholarships and business opportunities.”

Kiwanis Club consists of members who help Circle K when needed.

“We’re like the parent of the younger group,” said Claudette Rogers, incoming president of the Kiwanis Club of Portage County. “We are there to guide the group and act like mentors when they need us.”

Rogers also said the goal of the entire Kiwanis community is to help children.

“Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time,” Rogers said.

In addition, Buchser said helping children through Circle K is rewarding.

“I get satisfaction from doing services,” Buchser said. “It’s the satisfaction of seeing a child smile.”

Shana Scott, senior communications major, said she is a member of Circle K because she wants to meet people and make a difference in her community.

“I became a member because I wanted an opportunity to network with other college students,” Scott said. “I also want to participate in events that have a positive impact on the world.”

At the group’s open house on Sept. 15, Buchser said the organization will be volunteering in a wide range of activities.

“We will be doing different types of service projects throughout the year, including meals for the Ronald McDonald House and volunteering at the King Kennedy Center,” Buchser said. “We will also help Kiwanis Club whenever they need us.”

Although the organization has already held a meeting and an informational open house, Buchser said it is easy for students to become members.

“There are two basic things students need to do in order to join Circle K,” Buchser said. “All we need is the student’s contact information and $40 for membership.”

The fee is put towards conventions that all members are welcome to attend, Buchser said.

“We go to conventions three times a year,” Buchser said. “Our first one is the Membership Awareness Conference at (the College of) Wooster. We then go to another in the spring and summer.”

Buchser also said the conventions are his favorite activities to participate in because they involve service projects that incorporate the group’s three tenants: service, fellowship and leadership.

Despite the cost, Rogers said students should become involved with Circle K because it will help them learn about their personal identities.

“I believe the organization brings about leadership, skill and character building,” Rogers said. “It can give students insight on what they want out of life and what they can give back to the community.”

With college students volunteering in Circle K, Rogers said it will motivate children to follow in their footsteps.

“I believe youth helping their own community is important,” Rogers said. “When these kids see someone younger helping the community, they are more likely to want to follow. Those kids think, ‘Hey, if I work hard too, I can be like them.'”

Additionally, Buchser said all students interested in Circle K are welcome to their weekly meetings held at 8:30 p.m., Wednesdays, in the Student Center, room 313.

Contact social services reporter Katie Alberti at [email protected].