By: David Rozul
2010-2011 SDSU Circle K President
As I walked out the double doors of the St. Louis airport, the 105-degree heat rushed towards me and clung to my skin. My breath shortened. I remember thinking, “This sure isn’t California.”
The split-second thought that I had just traveled halfway across the country to be among hundreds who, like me, were dedicated to the tenets of Circle K was unbelievable. When I think of Circle K, my brain usually stops at the district level—good ol’ California-Nevada-Hawaii—because that’s all I’ve experienced. Those are the people I’ve worked with, cheered with and seen make a difference.
I don’t immediately think of the other 47 states or 17 countries that were represented in St. Louis at this year’s Circle K International Convention (ICON). I didn’t expect to make a friend from Arkansas. I didn’t expect to perform in the talent show at ICON. I didn’t expect to be so intrigued by the international house of delegates, or to participate in a debate with someone from Arizona. I didn’t expect to take home the spirit stick, and I sure didn’t expect my own district to take home 33 awards.
You learn from it all—about the different projects you do and how you conduct your meetings, about your relationship with your sponsoring Kiwanis club and the ways your club has fun.
ICON was about people coming from all across the planet for a common cause—to give back to the world we all share. We attended presentations and workshops about the new Kiwanis global campaign for children. The Eliminate Project: Kiwanis eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus, and we saw the introduction of the new international service and fundraising initiatives.
The presence of hundreds of college students in one dark room in St. Louis proved to me that there are people who are willing to help all across the globe. At point during the convention, everyone was given glow sticks and told by Kiwanis International President-designate Sylvester Neal, “Let your fire burn. Light a fire in this organization. Pass it on.”
As I arrived back in the San Diego airport after the event, I planned on doing just that. This year I will make a change, and I will influence others to change the world with me. The impact I plan on making is just beginning!