Why Submit Awards

By: Bill Truong

When someone talks about awards, I can’t help but be brought back to two instances in my Circle K journey so far; my first ever District Convention and the most current CKIx in Chicago, IL. At both of those events, I saw individuals recognized for their hard work and dedication to this organization be recognized by receiving individual awards. Whether it be for a distinguished award, or even for the Hall of Fame, the joy in people’s eyes when they are recognized for their contributions to Circle K will just make you smile.

In my opinion, members should apply for awards because it’s a great way to reward members for doing so much for the organization. It’s also a great way for leadership to recognize members whose involvement and overall contributions might not be seen by others, especially on a larger scale!

Speaking of awards, awards for Circle K International Convention 2019 in Orlando, Florida are out now! Start early, as we have a new awards system for this upcoming year! Distinguished awards are due April 19th, 2019 at 12:00pm ET, and Club and Individual Awards are due May 17th, 2019, at 12:00pm ET. If you have any questions about awards, or are unsure about what awards are available, attend the webinar that the Governing Documents and Awards Committee is hosting on April 16th, 2019 at 10:00pm ET!

About Bill Truong

Bill is the Governing Documents and Awards Chair. He is currently a computer science major at De Anza College in the California-Nevada-Hawaii District. After graduation he plans on going into something computer and tech oriented. Bill's favorite part about being a member of Circle K is doing service and making lifelong friends that will stay with him until the end of time.


By: Devyn King, Subregion E trustee

Whether you’re starting out as a new club officer or preparing a group presentation for school, the first priority for your group should be to learn how to work together effectively.  Keep in mind that although each position has its own defined role and responsibilities, you all should be working together as a team to shape the best possible Circle K experience for your members.

Here are 14 concepts that every team needs to implement in order to achieve success:

Clear Expectations

Did the team define roles and guidelines? Do all team members understand the priorities?  

When the team is first formed, you will want to have an initial meeting where you introduce yourselves, get to know each other, and review roles and expectations for the upcoming term. Solidify these expectations with service agreements, so everyone understands and agrees to uphold their responsibilities.

Common Vision

Is everyone on the same page with the task at hand and where the group wants to take it?

At that initial meeting, have an open discussion to decide on the team’s vision for the year, laying out the big picture of what you want to accomplish. Allow everyone to share what they wish to see before deciding on a single vision as a team. You are going to be pulled in many different directions if you do not agree on which direction to take, which will result in you not being able to measure results. You can even create a vision board of these ideas, and use it to ground yourselves throughout the year.


Do team members understand the purpose of the organization and why they are participating on the team? Are team members in it for the long-haul?

Before electing officers, make sure potential candidates understand the role before running.  Sit down with your team members at the beginning of the term for in-depth education on the organization to show the impact that their work is having. If some members are less committed or not pulling their weight, this can lead to frustration among others.


Are team members comfortable interacting with each other?  Is there a pleasant working environment?

Provide fellowship activities throughout the year and offer time to discuss non-work topics, so the team can get to know each other. This will help team members feel valued and have fun while working! Also, make sure discussions are open and free of judgment so everyone is comfortable sharing their opinion.


What tools are right for our team? Does everyone know how to use these tools and understand the protocols surrounding them?

Survey the group about which communication tool works best for them (GroupMe, text, Slack, etc.), and create a schedule of when everyone can expect certain communications. Also, set limits for the amount of time in which it is appropriate to respond. For example, you may wish to receive responses to texts within 24 hours, or responses to emails within 48 hours – whatever works for your team!  But remember, communication goes both ways!


Do team members feel confident and trusted to carry out tasks? Does the team have enough freedom and empowerment to explore solutions?

Delegate and don’t micromanage.  Everyone should be there because they want to help and carry out initiatives. Not providing team members with enough tasks may make them feel like they’re not trusted or valued. Give your team members space to operate on their own accord, and reassure them that they can do it. Just make sure they understand the task and that expectations are communicated effectively!


Can the team approach the problem-solving process jointly? Are all team members contributing their ideas to discussion? Are all team members stepping up to help out when needed?

Have group discussions and allow everyone to talk at least once before they can talk again, as each member brings a unique perspective; the meshing of ideas will lead to stronger and more solid plans. Also, encourage team members to use their talents and skills to help others, so no one person is feeling too stressed. Remember, it is okay to ask questions!


Do team members enjoy the work they do? Is there a sense of excitement among the team?

Be nice, speak to your team members with enthusiasm, and provide positive reinforcement throughout the process. Avoid using negative language; instead, try to rephrase your comment in a way that’s constructive. You may also wish to conduct satisfaction surveys or have one-on-ones with your team members to make sure they are happy in their role and to receive feedback on how you’re doing. To really get members excited about the work they’re doing, allow them to pursue passion projects so that they can take ownership of something they deeply care about.


Is the central leadership team guiding the group in the right direction?

Although you want to give members the freedom and confidence to be self-sufficient, you also need to keep them grounded and on track. Remind them of the vision, address any issues as soon as they arise, and let team members know it is okay to come to you when they have questions or concerns. Again, asking for feedback is the best way to understand how your leadership is being perceived by the team.


Do team members have the knowledge, skill, and capability to carry out their roles and address the issues for which the team was formed?

Be sure to learn each team member’s learning style, as leadership is not a one-size-fits-all idea. Everyone is capable of performing the tasks they are assigned, they may just need it to be clarified or communicated in another way, or they may need someone to help walk them through it the first time.  You should also offer ongoing training and education throughout the year, so you and your team members never stop learning.


Is the team thinking of innovative solutions, or are they sticking to the status quo?  Are ALL ideas (even the crazy ones) given consideration?

It’s one thing to be a team that can carry out tasks as they’ve always been done before, but what really shows the strength of a team is how well they tackle new initiatives. Weigh the pros and cons of each option. Step back, and try approaching situations from a different viewpoint. Most importantly - don’t immediately denounce someone’s idea because it’s different. Sometimes, “crazy” equals genius.


Is productivity steady or coming in waves? Is the work high quality?

With too much downtime, people can get lazy.  With too much work, people can get overwhelmed and burn out. Maintain a balanced agenda, so nobody is assigned too many tasks or too little tasks at once. Review ALL work as a team before finalizing, as all work should be given the same level of attention and held to the same quality standards.


Are team members being recognized for their contributions? Do team members feel proud of their accomplishments?

It always feels good to be recognized for your work, and positive reinforcements lead to a happy, comfortable work environment. Tell team members when they have done a good job and always remind them that you appreciate their work!


Is unacceptable behavior going unrecognized?  Is there a mechanism in place to deal with problem team members?

Do not let bad behavior slip by, as it sends a message to other team members that bad work is okay. Enforce the rules and make sure team members fully understand what will happen if they do not pull their own weight. When addressing the team member, be kind but not too soft, and use proper conflict resolution techniques, such as “I” statements. Although it may hurt to let a team member go, it is sometimes better to focus your energy on the team members who care and who are fully committed.


So, why does this matter?  Well, to put it simply, an effective team produces better work.  By ensuring all of the above ideas are in place within your team, you will be able to achieve a synergy while working together and generate an effective, high-quality performance.  You will more than likely encounter a few obstacles throughout your term – both individually and as a team – but your team will be able to bond together to overcome those obstacles and keep you on track to achieve your goals.  Not to mention, you’ll probably make some friendships that will last a lifetime.

About Devyn

Devyn is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh where she is finishing a degree in Urban Studies and Theatre Arts.  After graduation, she will be working as a Planner in the Department of Land Use and Development Services for Cecil County, MD.  Devyn’s favorite thing about being a member of Circle K is the many opportunities for leadership development.

Plant Seeds to Grow Your Club’s Membership

By: Billy Hackett, 18-19 Subregion G International Trustee

The more people who join CKI, the more of a collective difference we can make around the world. I promise there are people on your campus who would love to join CKI- they just have not heard of us, yet!

Everyone should play an active role in member recruitment and retention. In fact, one of your biggest goals as a member should be to help grow your club’s membership. To this end, do not be afraid to plant seeds right now that will bear fruit later on! If you are an incoming club officer, you should already be working with your board on a Membership Growth Strategic Plan for the year ahead. Here is how:


Step 1: Collaborate

Teamwork is key, so be sure this plan is informed by the entire club board (including the past board), not just an individual officer. There are likely many perspectives on what is best for your club, and you can keep each other accountable for goals collectively created.

Step 2: Review

How many members did your club have last year? The year(s) before? Has your club been losing members, staying steady, or growing? What has your club actively been doing to recruit and retain new members, if anything?

Step 3: Create a Goal

What is realistic in terms of net* growth for the coming year? Use the data you reflected on during REVIEW to walk the line between overshooting and undershooting your membership goal. Your goal can be ambitious but must still be achievable.

*If you lost three members last year, you need four new members to be at a net growth of one member.


Step 4: SMART Steps: Recruit

Heard of SMART goal setting? Take your GOAL and make it SPECIFIC, MEASUREABLE, ATTAINABLE, RELEVANT, and TIMELY. These questions will help jumpstart your plan: How often will you plan to “table” or flyer per month? Who will follow up with people who express interest in joining? Will members be educated on recruitment tips during meetings? How often, and in what format? Who will be the point person in planning and implementing these initiatives?

Step 5: SMART Steps: Retain

Recruitment is only half of the battle! You want those who come to an event or meeting to keep coming back, and that can be done by fostering a welcoming environment. How will you intentionally celebrate your existing and new members? How will member feedback be incorporated into decision-making? How will these responsibilities be shared among members of the club?


Step 6: Remain Engaged

This plan is not to be placed in a folder and forgotten. Regularly return to the goals you have created and analyze progress as a group at club board meetings. Have we adhered to all of the steps we said we would take? How many members have we gained, or lost? Are we on track for our goal? Should we reevaluate, or recommit?

At the end of the year ask: what have we learned, and how will we apply these lessons to next year’s plan (in conjunction with the next generation of club leaders)? Include your reflections in the transition materials given to your new club officers.


Notice how the plan comes full circle! If this is not something that your club currently does, it could (and should) be your board’s legacy to begin this cycle of developing a Membership Growth Strategic Plan at the beginning of each CKI year (April 1st). It should be done with both the incoming and outgoing club board, as part of the transition process.


Remember, you are never alone. Your fellow club members and officers, District Board members, and International Board members are all available to support YOU! Keep your eye out for more CKI News articles on recruitment(and all sorts of cool topics) in the near future. For now, I am sending you love and good vibes for the beginning of this CKI Year!




What will a finished product look like? Check out this(mock*) Membership Growth Strategic Plan from the University of Plants are Nice(UPAN) CKI for inspiration:


Intentional recruitment responsibilities

Appoint a Recruitment and Orientation (R&O) Officer. They will...

Take the appropriate steps to develop “tabling” schedules, with tabling days throughout the year at least three times a month. Contact information will be gathered from people who express interest.

Schedule tabling every Tuesday and Thursday from 9-11 AM for the first month of both the Fall and Spring semesters.

Ensure that CKI is represented by at least one member at each New Student Orientation during the summer months.

Secure a spot to table for CKI at the UPAN Club Rush inSeptember.

Reach out to on-campus organizations, residence life, or colleges (i.e. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, etc.), provide a blurb, and ask if they would promote CKI in their newsletters. Initial outreach will occur in August.

Organize and build hype for a “Bring a Friend to CKI Day” inOctober, where existing members will bring people along to a designated meeting; whoever brings the most guests wins.

Each person who expresses interest in the club during any “tabling”event will be followed up personally by the member who interacted with them through the contact information provided and will receive a general welcome email from the UPAN CKI President.

The UPAN CKI President will regularly update the university’s online portal for student organizations.

The UPAN CKI Treasurer will talk about the benefits of becoming a dues-paid member at each club meeting.


Retention through integration and initiation

Create a “New Member of the Month” award to recognize and retain new additions to our UPAN CKI family. This will be presented by the ClubPresident at the last meeting each month.


The Club Editor will celebrate members through “MemberSpotlight Mondays” and birthday shoutouts on the UPAN CKI Instagram.

New members will be asked to fill out an evaluation concerning their experience with the club at the end of each semester. The survey questions will be created by the E-Board and sent to members by the ClubSecretary.

Any member education and orientation programs developed byInternational (and/or otherwise created) will be implemented as appropriate.

A Member Initiation Ceremony- where new members are presented with pins, etc.- will be included in the End of the Year Banquet programming, planned by the outgoing E-Board.


Involve all existing members in the recruitment and retention process

Give 0.5 hours of service to members who Table for 1 hour, for a maximum of 2 hours that can be earned this way.

To foster a welcoming environment, designate a particularly bubbly member to stand outside the meeting room every week to greet old and new/prospective members alike.

The E-Board will encourage members to spread out during meetings and service projects to socialize with and include new members. This will be mentioned to all returners but stressed for Board Members who will be directly addressed for failure to comply with such.

At every other meeting, the R&O Officer will share a novel membership recruitment tip and lead the group in a relevant activity. This will make sure members understand that recruitment does not fall on only one person but is a collective responsibility.


*This plan is tailored to the specific circumstances facing the UPAN CKI. While your plan should incorporate many of these elements, specifics (including timing and assigned officers) will vary.

About Billy

Billy is a third year pursuing degrees in Political Science and International Studies at the University of Florida. Upon graduation he intends on joining the Peace Corps in Latin America, and in future endeavors hopes to be working for the advancement of justice and human rights. Billy’s favorite part about CKI is thinking about the collective impact that we have across the globe!

Venu's WASH Story

By: Venu Thirumala, International trustee-at-large

The WASH Project is a project that I support because of the mission of the project. Water, sanitation and hygiene are three basic necessities that people take for granted. The WASH initiatives that we are taking on will help people from various countries in need of these resources.  

My story of The WASH Project began in 2016, when I was in Toronto, Canada, for the Circle K International convention. I was relatively new to CKI at the time and was really interested in learning about what CKI does as an organization. Then Texas-Oklahoma Governor Miti and I were walking around looking at the various forums, and we came across UNICEF. Through that forum, I learned about the hardships that people face just to get water that isn’t even clean. The pictures really got to me, and once I saw how feasible the solutions are to change this issue, I started fundraising for The WASH Project. It is now my favorite service initiative for Circle K International.

WASH also impacted me from personal experiences. Throughout my life, I have been fortunate enough to travel to India every year. In India, I see the real-life situation of people being affected due to the lack of proper water, sanitation and hygiene. I see people drinking water that is not clean, or people defecating out in the open on the streets of India or even in the lakes and rivers, contaminating the water and causing a number of health disorders. India for me is definitely a wake-up call, and it really makes me realize how much we take for granted. When we wake up in the morning and use water to brush our teeth, flush the toilet or take long warm showers, we don’t really think about how much we use and how many luxuries we have. I want to work to advocate for people all over the world to be able to have the same opportunities as we do, and I feel that The WASH Project does just that.

Learn more about WASH, find resources and get involved by visiting Thank you for supporting WASH and UNICEF USA.

About Venu

Venu is a senior at The University of Texas at Dallas where is he pursuing a degree in Public and Nonprofit Management. After college, Venu plans to enter the job market, working in the nonprofit sector. He is looking to move out of Texas to either the Northeast or Midwest get a change of scenery and gain more experience there. Venu's favorite thing about being a CKI member is fellowship and the opportunities that he has gotten to travel from Panama, Taiwan, and many more places because of CKI.

Why I Support WASH

By: Isabelle Monroe, Subregion A trustee

There are so many reasons why WASH is, in my opinion, a worthwhile cause. Fighting for clean water is only scratching the surface. WASH fights for basic human rights, education and independence from daily tasks that infringe on the day-to-day lives of women and children in these developing countries. The reason that I stand by is clean water. It sounds simple, but it is far from that. Clean water is an afterthought for many people in the United States, as are parasites and water-borne illnesses.

Clean water allows us to forget the awful reality of what contaminated water can do to civilization. People who consume or are exposed to contaminated water are at risk of infection by parasitic worms and other disease-causing organisms. Imagine knowing that you could be infected by these organisms, yet you have no other option but to drink the contaminated water. It honestly sounds like a scene right out of a horror movie to me. By raising not only money but awareness for WASH, you are becoming part of a global movement of like-minded individuals who value the safety and rights of others. This organization means a lot to me, and I hope that you will find your passion for it as well.

Learn more about WASH, find resources and get involved by visiting Thank you for supporting WASH and UNICEF USA.  

About Isabelle

Isabelle is a junior at Montana State University where she is pursuing a degree in microbiology-genetics for pre-medicine. After college she plans to attend med school to become a dermatologist or family practice physician. She wants to stay in Montana after med school due to the shortage of physicians in the state. Isabelle’s favorite thing about being a member of CKI is the fellowship!


Discovering “purpose” is key to creating a dynamic and lasting impact. Every individual is different, but together, a group can share a common goal of change. The Circle K International Board is using that drive to change lives through WASH.

"The WASH initiative is vital because it extends beyond the four points that make up its name. As we speak, children are becoming ill, dying, missing out on their educations and potentially being assaulted: all because of lack of access to water, sanitation and hygiene. This project represents life and opportunity for so many Haitians."

— Laura Belmont, International President

"Equal rights start with equal access to water, sanitation and hygiene. This project helps Haiti in so many ways. My favorite is that it allows women and children to develop as individuals"

— Julia Dressler, International Vice President

"Water, sanitation and hygiene are three basic necessities that people take for granted. The initiatives that we are taking on with WASH will help people from various countries that are in need of such a resource."

— Venu Thirumala, Trustee-at-Large  

"I am passionate about WASH because of its focus on the reduction of water-borne illnesses. In a time where these illnesses are preventable, there is no reason too big to not prevent them."

—  Isabelle Monroe, Subregion A Trustee  

"Access to clean water is essential for creating a robust and thriving society. WASH directly and indirectly helps tackle issues relating to health, education, gender equality and more. I support WASH because every person in Haiti and elsewhere deserves a chance to prosper in life."

— Max Rico, Subregion B Trustee  

"I support the WASH project because of the life-changing education we are providing Haitians."

— Sean Nauss, Subregion C Trustee  

"The WASH project is an opportunity for our organization to be a part of something HUGE. This goes way beyond the status quo of CKI by showcasing what CKI has an opportunity to do when we work collectively. By helping the people of Haiti gain access to everything that WASH sets out to achieve, we are showing the world that college students can make a difference globally."

— Robbie Day, Subregion D Trustee  

"WASH addresses a global issue surrounding something we take for granted every single day — water. The issues regarding water, sanitation and hygiene go much deeper than just the surface level, however. They also negatively impact so many other aspects of society, including gender inequality, education and economic development, which are all issues I care deeply about."

— Devyn King, Subregion E Trustee  

"Through WASH, we can help provide stable sanitary conditions for the people of Haiti. To some, this may not seem vital, but it is, because we are not only providing safe drinking water, which is a major accomplishment in itself. We are helping children get to school to obtain an education because they no longer have to go out to get water all day. We are helping the world’s next generation grow and prosper. For that, I support WASH!"

— Stephania Gonzalez Mena, Subregion F Trustee  

"WASH is more than a bandage. This is an initiative designed to break every cycle of marginalization tied to inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene in a sustainable manner, through education and direct community involvement."

— Billy Hackett, Subregion G Trustee  

Why do you support WASH? Help CKI raise money by donating today. Learn more and donate at

Members make a splash

By Danielle Castonzo

March means more than a second-semester respite for members of Circle K International. While the only water some university students think about involves a sunny beach, CKI members will be focused on water issues in underdeveloped regions of the world.

During March Water Madness, CKI clubs raise money for and awareness of the WASH Project, an initiative by UNICEF that stands for water, sanitation and hygiene. UNICEF works in more than 100 countries to improve water and sanitation services and hygiene practices.

At the University of Houston in Texas, the CKI club plans to launch a weeklong initiative in collaboration with the University of Houston’s UNICEF chapter. Club members will build on the success they experienced during a similar partnership in 2018.

During one March week last year, club members distributed more than 100 water bottles along with information about WASH and water scarcity, held a fundraising bake sale, screened an informational movie about water scarcity and hosted a social media competition using WASH trivia.

But they didn’t stop there, says Alex Le, the CKI club’s president. They also organized a 6K mini-marathon on campus, which corresponded with a district-wide effort.

“My favorite part of WASH Week was actually an overlapping initiative that our district was promoting,” Le says. “Each day of March, people from around the district challenged each other on social media to run a 6K, or 3.71 miles – which is the average distance that women in developing countries have to walk to obtain access to clean water — in an effort to raise awareness and funds for the WASH Project.”

The club also started a GoFundMe account, which raised US$155. That in turn allowed them to fund enough purification tablets to create more than 100,000 liters of safe water for families in Haiti, a country still recovering from a 2010 earthquake and subsequent cholera epidemic. Close to 70 percent of the Haitian population lacks direct access to potable water, Le says.

“The GoFundMe aligned with Circle K International’s goal of targeting Haiti’s emergency needs to reach 200,000 people in cholera-affected areas with a complete WASH response package,” he explains.

The club’s efforts don’t lapse the other 11 months of the year. The WASH Project is a five-year CKI signature project, and the University of Houston club stresses year-round service.

“We try to motivate our members by reminding them of the value of giving back,” explains Le.

CKI member Rene Andrade believes in the power of that message.

“We take too many things for granted,” she says. “Something as valuable as water can be treated as plentiful here, but we don’t stop to think about how it’s a luxury for all those people around the world. I want to stay involved, because even if we can’t solve the problem entirely, we can still make a small difference in at least one person’s life, and it’ll be worth it.”

Inspired by the University of Houston’s campaign? Host your own WASH fundraiser. Check out our WASH guide and other helpful documents in our WASH resource section on CKI's website. You’ll also find these awesome WASH water bottle labels and much more. Thank you for supporting WASH!

Goodbye 2018 and hello 2019! 

For many of us, a new year brings new resolutions: eating healthier, working out more, making more time for ourselves, etc. Why not set a resolution for CKI? Here are tips from your peers on how to be a better member of CKI in 2019.  

  • Complete more service. Add one more service project into your normal routine.
  • Attend a district or international event. Meet other CKI members who share the same love for service, leadership and fellowship.  
  • Explore fellowship with more members. Talk to different people at meetings and events and expand your horizons. Make it your goal to talk to at least one new person at each meeting. If you already know everyone, take it as an opportunity to get to know someone even better. Bridge the gap and create a friendship from within your own club.  
  • Bring at least one friend to CKI. Share the CKI experience by inviting at least one person to a meeting or event. Show why you are passionate about our organization.  
  • Spread the word. When you share your club's successes and promote its events on social media and through word-of-mouth, you’re educating others who are potential members. Show off the good your club is doing in the world. Remember to always use #ChooseCKI.
  • Help plan a project. Are you passionate about a certain cause? Approach your club officers and volunteer to help organize a project to benefit it. You can help your cause while also developing leadership skills and providing your fellow club members with service opportunities.
  • Discover your “why.” Instead of existing within CKI, take a step back and think about why you are in the organization. Write it down and keep it where you'll see it daily. Let that reason fuel your passion. Let that passion shine through each time you attend a meeting, complete a service project or talk about the organization with a friend. Remember why you love being a member and let it show!

Start small and don’t overwhelm yourself. Remember, there are 365 days in a year. If you fall off track, just jump back on. These resolutions can be incorporated into your life at any time. Happy New Year!  

CKI College Resources from the U.S. Army

Excel in college; prepare for life

From ROTC to grad-school preparation, the U.S. Army helps college students succeed in the classroom and beyond.  

When you packed your bags and headed to campus, maybe you had certain goals in mind, a major picked out, graduate school aspirations. Or perhaps you had no idea what you wanted and are still looking for a little inspiration.

The U.S. Army has resources to help.  

From March2Success’ free, interactive study programs to opportunities through the Army Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC), the Army offers countless ways for college students to learn, train and pursue their education and career interests.

For example, if you’re a student-athlete you’re probably looking for sports scholarships. Through the ROTC program, the U.S. Army has opportunities for physically fit student achievers and offers two- and three-year scholarship opportunities for enrolled college students. ROTC scholarships can pay full tuition and fees, including money for books and supplies, along with a monthly stipend. And you don’t have to be an all-star athlete to apply.  

Or if you are interested in medical school, March2Success provides free comprehensive tools, including full-length practice tests for both the MCAT and DAT to help students prepare for health care fields. There’s also an enhanced Nursing Hub that offers prep courses for students interested in a nursing career.

And to help students balance course work and daily obligations with health and fitness, the Army’s Performance Triad provides wellness resources to help sustain healthy behaviors with a student’s sleep, activity and nutrition.

If you are interested in serving and learning important leadership skills through ROTC, chasing your dream career with March2Success’ prep programs or simply finding better ways to take care of your mental and physical health, the U.S. Army has the tools to achieve your goals — in college and in the years that follow.

To learn more, visit and

(Circle) Kast Your Vote

By: Laura Belmont and Billy Hackett

While it may seem as though you are just one person, YOU have a voice! If you are a citizen in a country with a democratic system of electing leaders, the most basic way that you can exercise this voice is by VOTING! In the United States, there are approximately 46 million young people (ages 18-29) eligible to vote; we comprise 21 percent of the U.S. electorate, but traditionally do not turn out for elections (Civic Youth). The same can be said for Canada, where in the 2015 elections almost half of young people (ages 18-24) did not vote (Elections Canada).

Circle K International recognizes the power of young adults who mobilize. When you think about it, that is everything that we do. Every day in 15 nations across the world, our 12,000-plus members make a difference by mobilizing through service, fellowship and leadership. When we are inspired to act and recognize that we are not observers but key players in what happens every single day, we can create and live in a world that we want to see.

The decisions made by public officials affect every area of our lives, including education, health care, public safety, Internet access and usage, the environment and countless more. On a local level, you’ll find elections for positions that directly impact your community through roles that may be unique to your area. We have direct control over who represents us and makes those decisions on our behalf, and the magnitude of this cannot be overstated. That is why civic engagement is one of the Objects of Circle K International, and we are calling on YOU to not waste your voice. Instead, channel its power and vote.  

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

The next opportunity to cast a ballot in the United States is on November 6, 2018. Depending on where you live, the ballot will list a slew of amendments, as well as local, state and national races, all to be decided by the people. Will you break the stigma that young people do not care? Will you take your future into your own hands and make your voice heard?

Find out where you can vote in the U.S. by starting here.

Can my CKI club and I be civically engaged in ways beyond voting?

Yes. If you are not a citizen, a registered voter or of voting age but still want to be engaged – or if you’re a voter who wants to go above and beyond – there are many opportunities to engage civically. You even can involve your club, a route that we recommend.

  • Volunteer at polling locations on election day
  • Volunteer to drive people to the polls
  • Volunteer by registering voters
  • Volunteer at local debates or town halls
  • Encourage your club members to vote  
  • Partner with a civic engagement organization on your campus to volunteer at any election-related events  

What if I am from an international district or club outside of the United States?

If you live in a democratic country, make your voice heard for all of the reasons above. To learn how to register to vote in your country, search the Internet for “register to vote [country].” Here are a few links in countries where we have clubs:

CKIx Award Recipients

On Saturday, July 7, 2018 the following awards were presented at the CKIx Awards and Farewell Session at CKIx18 in Chicago. 

Distinguished Awards

Distinguished District Governor

Julia Terry, Carolinas District

Distinguished Lieutenant Governor

Bill Truong, California-Nevada-Hawaii District

Dylann Lowery, Texas-Oklahoma District

Manuel Santiago, California-Nevada-Hawaii District

Mohammed Alharbi, Pacific Northwest District

Sarah Feinberg, Pennsylvania District

Distinguished District Secretary

Stephania Gonzalez Mena, New Jersey District

Julia Dressler, New York District

Katelyn Duch, California-Nevada-Hawaii District

Distinguished District Treasurer

Christina Civis, Texas-Oklahoma District

Distinguished District Editor

Marisa Hoenig, Georgia District

Chelsie Higdon, Carolinas District

Anika Faglie, Southwest District

Distinguished District Chairperson

Ana Chavez, California-Nevada-Hawaii District

Anika Faglie, Southwest District

Denny Cao, California-Nevada-Hawaii District

Jose Leoncio, Capital District

Esther Wang, California-Nevada-Hawaii District

Lucy Zheng, Georgia District

Ivan Hoz, California-Nevada-Hawaii District

Serena Ranney, Pacific Northwest District

Jennifer Hoang, California-Nevada-Hawaii District

Taylor McKay, New Jersey District

Samantha Ruiz, California-Nevada-Hawaii District

Xinyue Linda Qiu, Georgia District

Distinguished International Chairperson

Anika Faglie, Southwest District

Donald Franks, California-Nevada-Hawaii District

Garrett Thompson, Florida District

Distinguished Kiwanis Chairperson

Jennifer Hethcox, Carolinas District

John Cano, Texas-Oklahoma District

Distinguished District Administrator

Lori Stillwell, Michigan District

Kristin Holden, New England District

Distinguished District

Carolinas District

Southwest District

Club Awards

Growth Enhances Membership Awards

Ruby Division (1-19 members last year that have attained charter strength this year)

Fifth Place- Florida Southwestern State College

Fourth Place- Ohio Wesleyan University

Third Place- Troy University

Second Place- Niagara University and the University of Texas at San Antonio

First Place- Lindenwood University

Sapphire Division (clubs with 20-40 members)

Fifth Place- North Carolina State University

Fourth Place- Johnson & Wales University, George Mason University, Western University, and Michigan State University

Third Place- Western Kentucky University

Second Place- University of Virginia

First Place- DePaul University

Emerald Division (clubs with 41-65 members)

Fifth Place- Irvine Valley College

Fourth Place- University of Aruba

Third Place- University of Texas at Dallas

Second Place- The George Washington University 

First Place- Bentley University

Diamond Division (clubs with 65+ members)

Fifth Place- The College of William & Mary

Fourth Place- California State University- Sacramento

Third Place- Saint Martin's University 

Second Place- University at Buffalo

First Place- Rider University

Club Achievement Awards

Bronze Division

Third Place- Georgia Institute of Technology

Second Place- San Joaquin Delta College

First Place- University of the Pacific

Silver Division

Third Place- University of Central Florida

Second Place- Rutgers University

First Place- Saint Martin's University

Platinum Division

Third Place- University of California, Riverside

Second Place- University of California, Irvine

First Place- University of Michigan -- Ann Arbor

Single Service Awards

University of Michigan -- Ann Arbor

Washington State University

Kiwanis Family Relations Awards

The College of William & Mary

University of California, Riverside

University of Florida

University of the Pacific

Washington State University

Preferred Charities & Service Partners Awards

Third Place- Saint Martin's University 

Second Place- University of Michigan -- Ann Arbor

First Place- Washington State University

Club Promotion Video Awards

Third Place- Virginia Commonwealth University 

Second Place- University of Florida

First Place- University of California, Los Angeles

WASH Awards

Outstanding WASH Fundraising Districts

Third Place- Florida District

Second Place- Georgia District

First Place- Alabama District

Outstanding WASH Fundraising Clubs

Third Place- Northwood University (average amount raised per member: US$24)

Second Place- University of Alabama (average amount raised per member: US$44)

First Place- Palm Beach State College (average amount raised per member: US$68)

Individual Awards

Outstanding International Committee Member

Chelsie Higdon

Lucy Zheng

Billy Hackett

Jennifer Que

Oratorical Contest

First Place: Jennifer Que, California State University, Fullerton- California-Nevada-Hawaii District

Second Place: Mohammed Alhabri, Saint Martin's University- Pacific Northwest District

New Member of the Year

Khalid Altamimi, Saint Martin's University

Adriana Ortiz, North Carolina State University

David Su, Cypress College

CKI Hall of Fame

Jennifer Que, California State University, Fullerton- California-Nevada-Hawaii District

Humanitarian Award

Emmy Suazo, Saint Martin's University

Outstanding CKI Alumnus Award

Ben Osterhout

International Update 2/6/2018
International Update 2/6/2018

International Update 1/19/2018
International Update 1/19/2018
Kiwanis Children's Fund Scholarships Available
Kiwanis Children's Fund Scholarships are available

Are you a current CKI member?

Have you paid your club dues?

Did you know you're eligible for scholarships provided through the Kiwanis Children's Fund?

Each year the Kiwanis Children's Fund proudly assists in the disbursement of select scholarships available through their donor advised fund program to members of Circle K International. This year four scholarship opportunities are available for dues paid members of Circle K:

Cunat International Scholarship

Harry S. Himmel Scholarship

John E. Mayfield Circle K Scholarship

Circle K International Past President's Scholarship

All scholarship applications are due no later than March 15, 2018. Each scholarship requires a separate application. Click the links above for complete information on each scholarship, the criteria, and application.

For general information about scholarships disbursed by the Kiwanis Children's Fund, including who to contact with questions and award notification dates, visit the Kiwanis Children's Fund FAQ Page.

International Update 10/16/17
International Update 10/16/17
International Update 9/29/17
International Update 9/29/2017
Kiwanis Responds: How to Help

Kiwanis clubs around the world are responding to the disaster left in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Some are collecting supplies. Others are raising money. Here's how you and your club can help: 

Donate to the Kiwanis Children's Fund. When disaster strikes, the Kiwanis family is there to help. So is the Kiwanis Children’s Fund—with disaster relief grants to help Kiwanis clubs and districts meet crucial, immediate needs. Grants are designed to support Kiwanis-led relief efforts to meet the most urgent needs of victims immediately following natural disasters. Natural disasters include earthquakes, flooding caused by excessive rains, monsoons, hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, wildfires and other similar disasters. Donate to the Kiwanis Children's Fund by texting "Aid" to 50155, click here or mail a check

Donate to the Kiwanis Texas-Oklahoma District. The Kiwanis Texas-Oklahoma District focuses on emergency relief efforts. The organization has distributed more than 2,500 backpacks and hygiene kits since being created in 2013 to respond to the destruction from a tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. For this most recent disaster, the district sent hundreds of backpacks to the Houston area and has ordered supplies to fill more. "We will be placing orders for more items to go to the shelters as funds arrive," says Marshall Kregel, chair of the Kiwanis Texas-Oklahoma District relief effort. "We have heard that the shelters across the state of Texas may be accommodating people for several weeks, as many have no home to return to. The Texas-Oklahoma disaster relief effort will continue to serve people in these shelters for the next few weeks." Click here to make a donation.

Buy supplies from Kiwanis Warehouse to have shipped directly to Texas for distribution by Kiwanis members. The Kiwanis Warehouse, powered by Kiwanis partner DollarDays, offers low prices and fast and free shipping for Kiwanis clubs. Individuals and clubs that want to send supplies instead of funds to the disaster zone can purchase their supplies from Kiwanis Warehouse and have them shipped to the Kiwanis Club of Conroe. Club members will then distribute the items to other clubs in the Houston area to make sure supplies are getting to the people who need them. Some of the items available for purchase are batteries, blankets, flashlights and hygiene kits. Clubs and individuals can decide what to purchase by browsing this website and then contacting Frank at +1-877-837-9569 to arrange for shipping.  

New Website
The New Website

Circle K: making the world a better place, one project, one member at a time. And one new website at a time, too! Our new and improved website is up and ready for you to check out! There's a lot of fun new additions that we think you'll really love. So check it out!

Give a day to Circle K

Note: The 2016-17 Give a Day Campaign ended Oct 1st. More information on the 2017-18 Campaign will be released soon.

Members of Circle K International are known for their dedication to service.  Many members give countless hours of service with their clubs and on their own. Because of this dedication, the 2016-17 Circle K International Board is asking each member to Give A Day to Circle K by completing 24 hours of service from now until July 9, 2017. The service hours can come from club service projects or even volunteering on  your own. Just keep track of your hours and when you've completed 24 hours of service, post a picture on social media using the hashtage #GiveADay17 and see how other members are serving their 24 hours. If one person can change the world, imagine what the world's largest, student-led service organization can do! 

So, how do you commit to Give A Day to Circle K? It's easy

  1. Join our Thunderclap Campaign to let us know you've committed to Give A Day to Circle K!  
  2. Do what Circle K members do best- SERVE!
  3. Keep track of your service hours- we're on the honor system here.
  4. Complete 24 hours of service and post your photo with the #GiveADay17  hashtag on social media
  5. Give yourself a pat on the back for doing a great job! 
Show your love, save a life - Ideas to benefit march of dimes


  • Purple treats- Do you have any aspiring chefs in your club? Now is their time to shine. Use their talents to use and bake up some goodies to sell. Decorate them with purple frosting and sprinkles. Sell the treats in a high traffic area on campus. Check out this adorable cupcake idea from Lindsay Weiss of SugarMamaCooks.Com
  • Pound auction- Hold a Pound Auction at a club meeting in February. Every person brings something weighing a pound. It can be candy, treats, sugar, rocks… as long as it weighs a pound.  The item must be wrapped so members do not know what they are bidding on during the auction. Members bid on the wrapped items. The highest bidder wins the item and should unwrap it at that time to show the others what they won.
  • Design a Piggy Bank- Work with a local paint your own pottery studio and invite other organizations on campus to join in and decorate a piggy bank. Once the piggy banks have been fired by the studio, display them in a high traffic area on campus. Passersby will vote for their favorite design. 1 penny = 1 vote. The winning pig is the one that collects the most donations. The money from the pigs is donated to March of Dimes and the winning organization wins a prize or bragging rights.
  • Souper Bowl for Babies- Everyone knows the Super Bowl is huge sporting event. Why not play off that event and host your own Souper Bowl for Babies? Instead of touchdowns, attendees score a bowl of soup, bread, salad and dessert. Set fees for individual meals and family meals. Work with a variety of local restaurants to obtain food donations- be sure to give those participating restaurants publicity at your event. But the event isn't just about eating, it's also about selling special soup bowls at a silent auction at your event. Work with the art department on campus or with a local pottery studio to create soup bowls for the silent auction. Ask local artists to paint a bowl to be auctioned off as well.  Plan entertainment for the event, too. Be sure to promote the Souper Bowl For Babies to the community and provide information about March of Dimes to those attending your event.  
  • Mile of Dimes Campaign- To set up your Mile of Dimes, measure out 5,280 feet of ribbon (which equals one mile.) Be creative with your ribbon and place it in a unique shape, such as the March of Dimes logo or spiral shape, or simply place the ribbon in a straight line. Then, have donors place their dimes side by side on the surface of the ribbon. After the ribbon is filled up, give yourself a BIG pat on the back because you’ve raised over $9,000 towards lifesaving research for babies!
  • Sell Valentine’s Day Cards-Everyone loves giving and receiving Valentine's Day cards. Create a card template with the March of Dimes logo and sell them to raise money for the campaign. The great thing about Valentine's Day cards are that they can be given to a significant other, friend or family member. Plan to sell the cards a couple of weeks before Valentine’s Day as well as the day before and on February 14. Additional ideas to boost your card selling: Create a Valentine's Day-themed photo booth. Ask a club member to lend a camera and some cool props, as well as a high quality printer. The snapshots will be amazing and cool memories for everyone.
Texas A&M Galvestion CKI students help community with boat restoration

In Galveston, Texas, community efforts to restore an old shrimp boat have benefitted from the Texas A&M Circle K International club. When the 2016–17 school started, restoration of the 1937 boat became one of the first projects tackled by the club.

Club members got involved in the restoration after Linda Stevens, Texas A&M at Galveston CKI president, met a local woman who volunteered on the project. The two struck up a conversation and the boat restoration was mentioned. Linda quickly got involved and realized it was something other club members would enjoy, too. Work began in August, cleaning the inside and outside, moving equipment and tools and helping local volunteers bring the old vessel back to its 1930s heyday.

Of the 24 club members, 10 have helped with the Santa Maria restoration. The club also has volunteered doing similar work at Seawolf Park with the U.S.S. Cavalla, a World War II submarine, and with the U.S.S. Stewart, a destroyer escort.

“The history of the Santa Maria and the feeling you get being on that boat is all too real,” Linda said. “It’s like the feeling you get when you go to your grandparent’s house. Even if you have never been on that boat before, you can feel all the memories and history.”

A marine biology major, Linda values the historical importance of Galveston and recognizes the shrimp boat is one of the remaining chapters of a rich nautical story.

“What attracted me most was probably all the love and importance shown by those trying to preserve the Santa Maria,” she said.

When beginning college, Linda says she fell in love with “everything CKI stood for” and wanted to introduce that feeling to others. She’s served as secretary and president and said she’s been introduced to wonderful opportunities through service with CKI.

“CKI has allowed me to grow as a leader and a human being,” Linda said. “I have always had a desire to serve others, but this organization has allowed me to go above and beyond what I ever thought I could do, by bringing students together and making our community better, as well as making great friends.”

‍Joe Grillo (left) and Linda Stevens (right)
‍right to left: Kristen Iannello, Nola Canann, Marissa Malinoski, Rebecca Burgamy, Robert Mani, Steven Lopez, Hailey Lawson, Kai Jie Sheng, Martee Hathorn,  Josephine Sullivan, Craig Sullivan, Katherine Rodriguez, Christian Sullivan, Robert Mihovil, and Joe Grillo in front.(the first nine are members)