The New Volunteerism

Apr 28, 2010

By: Chris Martz
Cirlce K International Manager

What were you doing when you were 20 years old? This week I heard about Chelsey Rothermel a 20 year old, who has already spent much of her life helping others. Whether it’s by walking a displaced dog, giving a child a new book or coming up with a way to raise money for disaster relief, she jumps right in with her enthusiasm, time and talents to benefit those in need.

And, she’ll tell you that she wholeheartedly enjoys every single minute of it.

Less than two years ago, she arrived at Keene State College as an incoming freshman. Within days, while still barely unpacked, she sought out Circle K, the international Kiwanis-affiliated service club for college and university students.

Today, she’s a sophomore — in the honors program — and a dedicated volunteer who is recognized both on and off campus for her maturity and leadership skills.

“Circle K is my passion,” she said. “Circle K is a family. We’re all here to do community service. I’ve met so many people in the community and made so many friends from being involved with it, including my best friend in college. It’s a great thing.”

Rothermel discovered her volunteer spirit at an early age, nearly a decade before she landed in Keene. Back when she was an 8th-grader in her hometown of Madison, New Hampshire, a classmate invited her to a meeting of the Builders Club.

She quickly became involved, immersing herself in projects that ranged from highway clean-ups to sponsored walks to raise money for breast cancer research. This passion for service continued In high school, with the Key Club, and now, with Circle K, she devotes herself to myriad activities in the greater Keene community, but she’s not planning on stopping there. When talking with her about her graduation plans she told me I’ll graduate from KSC in 2012, then I plan to join Kiwanis — the very next day.”

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