Purdue University North Central freshman Katie Hines enjoyed her community service activities in high school, so she sought a similar experience at PNC.
That is why she pursued starting a Circle K club, a collegiate community service organization organized and sponsored by the Noon Kiwanis Club of Valparaiso. While at Washington Township High School, Hines was an active member of Key Club, the high school equivalent of Circle K.
“I loved Key Club so much in high school, I wanted to bring it to PNC,” said Hines, a freshman Elementary Education major who was elected the club’s first president.
The PNC chapter is sponsored by the Porter County Kiwanis Club. Circle K International has more than 12,600 members in 17 nations.
For its first project, the group decided to volunteer to mentor elementary school students through the Hours for Ours program in La Porte County and the Porter County Boys & Girls Club in Valparaiso.
“The experience I will gain with our Circle K tutoring project will help me as an Elementary Education major,” said Hines.
Club vice president Andrew Kilarski, a freshman Education major from Valparaiso, is looking forward to this project, too. “I joined Circle K because I love working with kids and I enjoy giving back to my community by being able to tutor kids,” he explained.
While the club has existed on campus for just a few weeks now, the members are actively recruiting their fellow students to join Circle K.
“We welcome anyone who would like to be a part of a service oriented club” said Amanda Martin, PNC enrollment recruiter, and Circle K staff advisor. “We are encouraging all students with a Key Club background to get involved.”
The Circle K members look forward to additional volunteer service projects on campus and in the community. The group also look forward to helping the PNC Student Government Association it annual High School Student Leadership Conference too,” said Martin.
“We plan to be a visible and involved club,” said Martin. “Our members want to make a difference.”
Caitlin Young, a junior behavioral sciences major from Valparaiso, also got involved with Circle K after being exposed to Key Club in high school.
“I joined Circle K because Key Club was started at Washington Township School High School my sophomore year. I wasn’t able to participate fully and I really wanted to join Circle K as soon as possible in college. I hope to introduce Circle K to others.”
Young was elected to serve as the new club’s treasurer. Its faculty advisor is Carrie Higgins, continuing lecturer of Communication.
Young and Hines also are members of the PNC Dean’s Leadership Group, an organization committed to bettering the university and community through volunteerism.
During a recent meeting the officers noted that they’ve become friends thanks to their involvement with Circle K. They’re enthusiastic about what’s to come and they were eager to bring aboard other students who share their interests and enthusiasm for helping.
We’re looking forward to our club growing and getting more students involved,” said Hines. “We hope to accomplish a lot on this campus.”