Kathy Welsh

Kathy Welsh

GOSHEN – Students at John S. Burke Catholic High School have another extra-curricular club to choose from this year. Burke Catholic is the most recent high school in the Hudson Valley to start a Key Club.

Burke Catholic Students Organize Key Club for Community ServiceThe goal of this student-run organization is to teach leadership through service to others.

Burke Catholic’s Director of Guidance Ms. JoEllen Nemeth, took steps to start the club last spring, and she was thrilled when 15 students showed up at the first meeting over the summer. Since then, that number has grown to 75 students in all who have become members.

“I know the students are very excited about this because they came into school over summer break,” Ms. Nemeth said. “The best part of key club is that the students run the meetings and drive the direction of the community service projects. They learn to lead by doing.”

Burke Catholic is the latest member of the Hudson Valley’s division 13. Starting a key club is no small task. All clubs must be chartered with a Kiwanis Club. The Middletown Kiwanis Club sponsored Burke Catholic and provided them with the resources and support needed to become quickly established.

“We are extremely thankful to the Middletown Kiwanis Club for sponsoring our Key Club,” said Ms. Nemeth. “They have been supporting us every step of the way!”

The club’s first order of business was the election of officers. The following students were elected officers for the 2017-18 school year:

  • Sarina Howe, President.
  • Juliana Gesztesi, Vice President.
  • Patrick Monroe, Secretary
  • Myriam Moise, Treasurer
  • Holden Lee,  Bulletin Editor
  • Arianna Recinos, Webmaster

“I’m really excited to be the leader of a club about giving back to the community,” said Howe. “I hope to leave at the end of this year being confident in the great foundation we’ve laid to make the Burke Catholic Key Club a success.”

The club already has plans to help raise awareness of ovarian cancer among high school girls this September. They will be handing out awareness cards at lunch and homeroom and selling t-shirts to benefit the Corinne Feller Memorial Fund. When brainstorming ways to spread awareness to a bigger audience, club members thought high-tech.

“Awareness could be spread on social media platforms like Instagram using a hashtag and by creating stories on Snapchat,” said Gesztesi. “That could really get the word out.”

“That’s what’s great about this club being student-driven,” said Ms. Nemeth. “They have fresh ideas and think out of the box. Even better, they’re now using those ideas for community service.” 


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