Key Club and CSF: Ways of Serving the Community!


The Manhattan Beach fair took place from October 2 and 3 where participants had to set up a games booth to collect money for the PTP. Members had the option of choosing which 2-hour shifts they were available for to run the booth. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Libertor (12).

Anika Agarwal, Staff Writer, Staff Photographer

   Schools are open and the need to get back on task is greater than ever. Opportunities for volunteering are emerging again, reminding students of the wide range of exposure that they can get outside classrooms. Gokul Giridharan (11) expressed,  “I just forgot that community service was a thing during the coronavirus [pandemic].” 

   Volunteering at a community service event may seem dreadful and daunting if there is no one to facilitate finding opportunities for you. But worry not, because West High Service clubs are here to help! West High School has several service clubs covering a wide range of interest areas for members to discover where their passion lies. 

   One such club is Key Club, which is spread across states like Nevada, Hawaii, and California, stated Elizabeth Libertor (12), the President of the club. Key Club is involved in the community by raising money for various causes such as the Pediatric Trauma Program (PTP) which helps children who have faced trauma. It requires only 20 hours of service this semester which can be completed through smaller or bigger projects.

   The flexibility and openness of Key club has created an easygoing and spirited atmosphere. Libertor expressed, “There are unique opportunities for fun events!” Adding on, she conveyed that out of all the other service clubs that she joined in her freshman year, she found Key Club to be the most inclusive and family-oriented. 

   Another club aimed at serving society is the California Scholarship Federation (CSF). CSF was founded in 1921 and is aimed at recognizing high schoolers with high academic achievement, explained Mrs. Torres, the co-sponsor of the club. Not only are students required to be bright but they also need to have a well-behaved character to be a member. Mrs. Torres explained how “if you have a U in citizenship, you don’t qualify; and if you’ve ever been referred for cheating, you don’t qualify.”

   Depending on the interests of students, members can delve deeper into CSF on different levels such as active members or seal bearers. Seal bearers get special recognition when it comes to their graduation day, such as walking in front of the line and wearing tassels and pins. In short, the more time you spend helping, the greater benefits you can achieve. 

   Both clubs–CSF and Key Club– allow members to interact with nearby schools and students to gain life-long skills. Abigail Shim (11) shared her experience of tutoring a kindergartener last year: “I was really able to learn how to talk to kids… [at] their level.” She was able to enhance her communication and speaking skills, motivating her to be more active and contribute more to the community. 

   Along with engaging in school-based settings, these clubs also involve outside school opportunities. Liberator exemplified ways through which the Key Club members helped the community in a virtual year. Members got to engage in advocacy events that encouraged students to display positive behavior in the forms of “cleaning around the neighborhood, or creating cards for veterans, … or creating dog toys for locals, or posters for co-responders like firefighters.” CSF board members also plan out different volunteer events like cleaning up at Madrona Marsh.

   With a wide spectrum of activities, students at West can join these community service clubs and learn skills that are essential for good character-building, a useful addition to a college application, or just a way to have a fun time.