News

Giving Tuesday: An opportunity to support Kiwanis-family programs

Oct 30, 2014
Students on their way to CKI Leadership Academy.
On Tuesday, December 2, the Kiwanis International Foundation will participate in Giving Tuesday—and you can join this worldwide event. Gifts to our foundation on Giving Tuesday will raise money for the Kiwanis Children’s Fund. That's the fund that supports grants to Kiwanis clubs, districts and district foundations—and grants to Kiwanis’ Service Leadership programs.

One of those SLP programs is CKI Leadership Academy, which is an investment in the members of CKI. During the annual six-day event, facilitators help students learn that true leadership is based on servant leadership—putting the needs of others first. What sets this program apart is that students and facilitators do a service project in addition to program activities.

Leadership Academy has a profound effect on participants. Students make friends from around the country and around the world; they reflect on their values and personalities and come to know themselves better as people first and leaders second; they gain confidence and feel empowered to achieve their goals; and they learn how to be humble but effective leaders who find balance between leading and stepping back according to the situation.

Who better than a Leadership Academy graduate to tell you about its transformative power? Tracey Werleman studies social work and development at the University of Aruba, where she’s also president of the CKI club. Here is her story, in her own words:

To this day it is difficult for me to put in words my experience at the Leadership Academy. To say it was a life-changing experience would be an understatement. Even though everybody experienced it differently, I’m sure that we could all agree that it was one of a kind. The program has helped me see myself from a different perspective. I have been evaluating myself ever since, trying to become a better person each day. I now work with people with disabilities and psychiatric patients who are in need of guidance. It’s not an easy job, but with the skills that I acquired as a leader, I am more capable of giving guidance to these clients. There are days where I feel that I won’t be able to make it through the day, but then I remember that not every day is perfect and I put a smile on my face and keep moving forward. The Leadership Academy not only gave me the skills to be a better person, but it also gave me the opportunity to meet amazing young people who are all working for one awesome purpose, which is making this world a better place. Every person should get the opportunity to experience this amazing week!

On December 2, show your support for Kiwanis-family programs. Make a gift to the Kiwanis International Foundation on Giving Tuesday.

Students gather at CKI Leadership Academy.