October 18, 2010
Most likely to succeed: Missouri high school students are serious about service
Former Mo. Gov. Bob Holden to headline a student town hall for area Key Clubs and the community.
High school students in St. Charles County are serious about public service and want to make a difference in their community. The County is home to some of the most active Key Clubs, student-led organizations dedicated to service in the state, and on Wednesday, Oct. 20, they will come together along with other citizens in the region to learn more about service, character and leadership from former Mo. Gov. Bob Holden, director of the Holden Public Policy Forum at Webster University.
Students, Civic Society and Service is set for Wednesday, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m. The town hall event will take place on the campus of Lutheran High School in St. Charles County (5100 Mexico Road, St. Peters). The program is open to students and adults, and admission is free. There will be a canned food collection at the door to benefit a local charity.
The program will highlight the significance of public service, focusing on themes of civic engagement, the rewards and challenges of public service, and ways that students can get involved in the community. "Explaining the value of service is critical," Holden said at a recent planning meeting for the event. "By the time students enter the workforce as young adults, in many ways their social and civic pattern is established. High school and college students have to know that we need them to be involved, that we believe in them, and we’ve got to give them ready ways to engage right now." Holden was active in the local Kiwanis chapter in Springfield, Mo. Today, the former Governor is the director of the Holden Public Policy Forum at Webster University and serves as the Chairman of the Midwest U.S. China Association.
Key Clubs, sponsored by Kiwanis International, are the oldest and largest service program for students. The Clubs exist to develop competent, capable and caring leaders through the vehicle of service. Key Club International has approximately 250,000 members in 5,000 clubs in 30 countries.
"We started our Club to encourage our students to appreciate the needs and engage in helping to create a strong community," said Ed Staude, a teacher at Lutheran High and the club's faculty sponsor. “There is an alarming decline in participation in civic organizations across our state and our country. We want our students to know that there is a real opportunity to be involved and to make a difference, and that it's not a difficult thing to do." Staude designed the October 20 event with the larger goal of creating a speakers series that would bring leading civic servants into a conversational setting where they can "really talk with" students.
Governor Holden readily agreed to be the series' first guest. "My personal and political background has been driven by my sincere value for civic service,” he said. "I want to do what I can to motivate students to get involved, to be helpful, and to be part of their communities. I encourage every civic leader who is invited to participate in an event like this to say 'yes'; it's one of the most important things we can do to encourage our young people create a truly bright future."
"We're really excited that the Governor will be here," said Lutheran High Club president Eric Herst. "He's a really nice guy, and he makes us [students] feel like we matter and can make a difference."
Details about the event are available online at holdenpolicyforum.org or by calling Lutheran High School at 636-928-5100.
The Holden Public Policy Forum at Webster University is a nonpartisan speakers series that brings political and private sector public policy leaders to engage with students and citizens. Learn more at the Forum website, http://www.holdenpolicyforum.org
The Holden Public Policy Forum: http://www.holdenpolicyforum.org
Key Club International: http://www.keyclub.org
Missouri-Arkansas Region of Key Club: http://www.moarkkeyclub.org
Kiwanis International: http://www.kiwanis.org
Lutheran High School of St. Charles County: http://www.lhssc.org
With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University is a worldwide institution committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence. Founded in 1915, Webster offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs through five schools and colleges, and a global network of campuses. Its 20,000-plus student population represents almost 150 nationalities.
Since opening its first campus overseas in Geneva in 1978, Webster has become a recognized leader and innovator in global education, with an international presence that now includes campuses in London; Vienna; Amsterdam and Leiden, the Netherlands; Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chengdu, China; and Bangkok and Cha-am, Thailand. Webster also has educational partnerships with universities in Mexico and Japan.