Copley High School Key Club Continues Community Outreach
For over 20 years, the Copley High School Key Club has been a beacon for the local community, providing service for those in need while creating leadership opportunities and positive experiences for students. When taking over as CHS Key Club Advisor in 1999, Mary Jo Regennitter said she had originally planned on a short tenure, but after seeing the work the students perform, became quickly enthralled with the club.
Key Club is the oldest and largest service program for high school students in the U.S. Each Key Club is student-led and teaches leadership through service to others. Key Club members can be found worldwide, with over 260,000 members in over 5,000 clubs in 30 countries. Sponsored by the Copley-Fairlawn Kiwanis, Copley High School Key Club membership averaged nearly 100 student participants per year before the pandemic.
Key Club President Vanessa Roque said she has learned a lot of leadership skills as a member of the club. “I was able to develop confidence, initiative and leadership skills by serving my school and community,” she said. “Being a part of such a caring, empowering and inclusive organization has meant so much to me. It's all about working together to make a positive difference in our world which is very special to me.”
Key Club members learn leadership skills by running meetings, envisioning and executing projects to solve needs in the school and community and by participating in Key Club activities on the local, state and international level. Members learn the values of leadership, character building, caring and inclusiveness. During Regennitter’s time as Advisor, CHS Key Club has provided members volunteer opportunities to provide service for organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House, Akron-Canton Foodbank, UNICEF, March of Dimes and Copley Outreach. The club also offers service through Copley-Fairlawn School District initiatives.
The CHS Key Club had an idea to help assist students in the district who are food challenged, and established a backpack project to send food items and hygiene essentials home with students on weekends. The program was started through a partnership between CFCS district officials and members from the Copley Outreach Center. Shortly after the program's implementation, Key Club members began researching grants through the Kiwanis family to seek out resources and merge their service efforts to support the new district initiative.
All that work became the Copley Key Club Cares Backpack Project and earned the club First Place in the Single Service Report category from the Ohio District of Key Club International. This top state level recognition is a wonderful achievement for these dedicated students.
Key Club President for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year, Ryan Kimberly, said experiences like the backpack program have really shaped who he is as a Key Club member and as a person. “The Key Club community is made up of amazing people and through my experience volunteering, I have learned how lucky I am to go to a school like Copley, and I have realized how lucky I am to have access to everything I do.”
Thank you to Mrs. Regennitter for her commitment to this cause for the past two decades.