Name: Jennifer Hethcox
District: Georgia District as a CKI member, Carolinas District as a Kiwanian
University: Agnes Scott College, Bachelor of Arts, class of 2000; University of South Carolina, Masters of Arts in teaching, 2009
Major(s): Business economics and studio art
Future career goals and aspirations: After college, I worked for a research firm as a member relations associate and then as the chief of staff for the financial research department. I went on to work in the event department, planning corporate meetings across the globe. After leaving DC, I moved back south and worked for a few years in the advertising department of the newspaper, working with both local and national clients. I have been in education since 2008, when I went back to school to earn my Masters of Arts in teaching. I have been teaching full time since 2009. I have taught third grade, fifth grade and gifted-fifth math/science, and now I teach gifted and talented students (high academic achievers) in a pullout program.
What led you to join CKI? I was in Key Club in high school and missed the opportunity to stretch my leadership wings, so CKI was the next step. I already had a relatively good knowledge of CKI and quickly found my place.
What inspires you? I love helping people grow. I have always been inspired by learning how to encourage and support future leaders. I love to learn and be the cheerleader for others to see their dreams accomplished. I look at my profession, education, as another way to share my passion for learning, making the world and others better and inspiring youth to go out and make a difference.
How are you making your mark on the world? While I was not an education major in college, being a lifelong learner was always something instilled in me from a very early age, along with the love of serving others and making the world a better place for all that dwell here. As an educator, I find ways to be passionate about topics and help others find their passions. Holding leadership roles in CKI also taught me how to guide and support others. I was named Teacher of the Year in 2014, helping to culminate my years of teaching and inspiring others in the classroom. I am delighted to have the opportunity to continue to work with CKI as the district administrator. I love watching our leaders grow and make a difference each year.
Anything you want us to share? CKI was such an important organization in my college life. It taught me so many important lessons and showed me how to persevere through difficult times. I gained public speaking and leadership training skills and learned more about myself as a person. It took me some years to join Kiwanis, and I think that is OK. I needed a short break to regroup, get my career going and find a space where I could share my thoughts and ideas again. If it had not been for the call to return to CKI, I would not have had the desire to join Kiwanis. I think opening those opportunities to our members will be important. There are so many different ways alumni can share their skills, but we have to be willing to ask them. I'm so glad I was asked.