Students attend Key Club national convention
MCHS Vice President Jaylin Vinson wins talent competition
By Tonya Little
The Key Club International Convention, ICON, provides its members with opportunities to provide service, build character and develop leadership to help develop caring and compassionate leaders who transform communities. It not only aims to develop initiative and leadership, but to also provide experience in living and working together as a team and serving the school and community.
Last year was Midwest City High School’s first year to attend ICON, which was held in Chicago last summer. Students were able to attend the national conference and represent the school since they had won first place at the District Convention for their service project called Breakfast with Santa, which helps the McKinney Vento homeless student program. While they did not win at ICON last year, they got to go back again this year from June 30 to July 7, joining over 1500 students from all across the world in Baltimore. This year they were able to attend ICON because the Key Club Vice President, Jaylin Vinson, won first place in the talent competition at the District Convention. Vinson played Smooth Criminal on the electric violin and included a moon walk in the middle for the District Convention.
This year, MCHS came back from ICON as winners, with Vinson and his violin performance winning the Talent Show Case where 5 other acts performed. Vinson started in Key Club as the secretary and moved up to Vice President. He said the decision to join Key Club was just a spur of the moment idea, but that it has become one of the major activities in his high school experience.
“Never did I pay any mind to the ‘international’ part of Key Club International, however when I attended the international convention in Baltimore it truly showed me how many lives and communities Key Club has influenced,” said Vinson.
Four young men from MCHS attended the event this year, Adam Sorrell, Dre Baquera, Jaylin Vinson, and Jude Cook. In order to attend the students had to raise the funds to go. It took almost $2000.00 per student to attend, so the students had their work cut out for them. While the school had some generous donations, the students also sold popcorn, held fundraisers, and worked hard to raise the funds to attend.
“It was really awesome to get to take them. Two of them had never flown before, and none of them had been to Baltimore or Washington D.C.,” said Stephanie Gragg, Key Club teacher. “It was a great experience to get to take them to visit those things as well as have them represent MCHS on the International Level.”
While the students were not in Key Club conference events, they were able to visit some historical places such as the home of Edgar Allen Poe, The Lincoln Memorial, the National Archives, and the Smithsonian.
“I am extremely proud to represent MCHS Key Club. Our little club does not have an easy way to raise funds, but while serving our community with events like Breakfast with Santa and school volunteering, they have been able to work hard to accomplish these goals,” said Gragg.