Name: Tejshree Borkhetaria
From: Jersey City, New Jersey
The Leadership Struggle
When you’re the President of the largest club at your school, leadership
is a characteristic that you must display. Take it from the President
of McNair Academic’s Key Club.
On the surface, club administration appears to be quite smooth. Meetings
and events are interesting, well-coordinated, and concise.
Community-service-hours are meticulously noted and finances are
accurately recorded. There is little drama, little space for
complaint. Everything seems under the belt for the club
administration. Only the officers really know what is happening under
the cool and calm façade.
In reality, nothing is ever happening correctly. You have contacts
calling you in the middle of class and treasurers texting you in the
middle of the night. You have members canceling on you minutes before
an event and advisors shouting at you minutes after an event. You’re
handling every little detail, from the concerns of a freshman member
to the phone call of the District Representative. On the outside,
you’re calmly smiling. On the inside, you’re screaming. And yet, you
love it. You love the work and you love the stress. You love your
members and you love your fellow officers. And that is what being a
leader is all about.
One of the main events Key Club does throughout the year is fundraising
for UNICEF. Members are given a small Trick-or-Treat-for-UNICEF box
and asked to collect money. This year, we decided to make this
fundraising-opportunity the highlight event of the year. We did heavy
advertising for the event months beforehand and set up special
community-events to raise extra money.
Two days before the effort was going to begin, my advisor called me to
her room. Frantically, she explained that the District KC had not
shipped the UNICEF boxes yet and that they would arrive nearly two
weeks after the event was planned to begin. Without the boxes, there
was no event. And if there was no event, especially after all of our
campaigning, Key Club would be publicly humiliated. Immediately, I
called an officer meeting.
While the other officers debated over the next course of action, I
deliberated over every option available to us. We couldn’t postpone
our event now; this early in the year, KC would lose its credibility.
But we still didn’t have the boxes. Didn’t have something to collect
money in. A container. Wait. A container. That’s it! That’s all we
needed! And so I pitched an idea to my team, an idea they approved of
and we quickly figured out. We would make our own boxes.
The Editor would design a UNICEF poster for the front of the box. The
Treasurer and I would go to Staples and place an overnight order. The
VP would go pick the boxes up the next morning and the secretary
would fold the boxes afterschool that day. We’d have the boxes ready
for the morning of the event.
Our event was a success. We raised over $1,500 for UNICEF.