Army Education News

Passion, Inspiration, and Change: U.S. Army Attends 2017 Key Club International Convention

Sep 26, 2017

If you were in San Antonio, TX in July and heard the roar of students cheering and laughing, and saw large groups walking through the city with unique hats, then you were witnessing the 2017 Key Club International Convention.

The Key Club Convention is the highlight of the year for thousands of young emerging leaders. With over 5,000 clubs across 30 nations, in North America, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, the annual convention brings together inspired students from around the world. 

From the matching hats that represent their home state to wide grins and forward thinking conversations, anyone observing the convention would immediately notice the passion and pride the students have in their high school clubs.

Key Club International, a high school student-led Kiwanis club, is the oldest and largest service leadership organization that teaches leadership through service to others. Key Club’s 267,000 members build themselves as they build their schools and communities. 

Key Clubbers visit the U.S. Army booth during the convention to learn more about the Army’s scholarship opportunities and take a break from workshops to throw the football.

Every summer each club celebrates a year of service with over 2,000 students and advisors gathered together to introduce new programs, present awards to outstanding clubs, conduct the organization's business, attend educational workshops and elect international officers for the upcoming year. The 2017 international convention in San Antonio, TX marked the 74th year of this gathering.

The U.S. Army continued its seven year partnership with Kiwanis International by supporting the Key Club International Convention, highlighting the shared values of education, service and leadership. From the U.S. Army band welcoming students to the Opening General Session to the interactive Army leadership and scholarship focused workshops, the Army played an integral role in the convention.

During “The Building Blocks of Leadership” Army workshop, Second Lieutenant Donel Pascual, Cadet Jose Michel and Mr. Barry Kowald offered unique and personal insight into the Army’s leadership development best practices, in order to help the students better prepare to be leaders in their clubs, communities and future endeavors. 

Second Lieutenant Donel Pascual and Cadet Jose Michel answer questions following the Key Club International workshops in San Antonio, TX.

In another Army lead workshop, students were asked how they would feel if they could pursue a college education without financial obstacles. Attendees eagerly listened to how ROTC can enhance the college experience, provide financial support and make students more competitive in the workplace through valuable training in problem solving, critical thinking and leadership.

Second Lieutenant Donel Pascual talks to students about U.S. Army scholarship opportunities during the “Graduating College: Debt-Free and with Real-World Experience” workshop.

Students were also able to interact with and enjoy the U.S. Army band, As You Were, presented by the Army Musical Outreach Program, throughout the convention, prior to and during the opening general session, leading the National Anthem and acoustic performances in the student lounge.

Second Lieutenant Donel Pascual and Cadet Jose Michel share the different career and education paths students can take through the Army during the Circle K International Convention on July 8, 2017.

In addition to Key Club, Circle K is the collegiate student-led branch of the Kiwanis International. This year, the annual Circle K International Convention was also in San Antonio, TX. The U.S. Army hosted two student workshops that shared the available opportunities to earn financial support for college and graduate school while fostering the leadership and career skills necessary to get ahead.

Circle K students learned about the more than 200 careers available in the Army ranging from STEM field to public affairs and culinary service. Those interested in continuing their education through medical school or graduate school discovered options for making their dreams a reality.

At the end of the week, students walked away more knowledgeable about service leadership, goal-oriented decision-making and identifying their unique leadership attributes through effective strategies developed by the Army.

For more information about Key Club, visit, and Circle K, visit

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