Helping others and yourself in return

By Vincenzo Gugliuzza….

I must admit that serving my community had never been at the top of my priority list until recently. Many friends who are older and had moved on to college recommended acquiring as many service hours as possible just to impress colleges and my sister. This was my perception and perspective until I joined Key Club. Up until then, I had served various organizations half-heartedly just to fulfill my quota.

As cliché as this sounds, Key Club made me recognize the passion I had to serve my community and help others. This passion was progressive. In ninth and 10th grade, I was class representative. As an officer in Key Club, planning, inspiring, and implementing various projects provided experience. My first project called Peanut Butter & Jelly Time. Has a simple mission; our Club developed the means and prepared hundreds of sandwiches which were delivered to all local homeless shelters. We even stopped along the way and gave some to any homeless persons seen en route.

Service life escalated in 11th grade when I was appointed club secretary. Later, I ascertained that my uncle is active in the Kiwanis Club and highly involved in South Florida. That year the governor proposed Project SNAP (Special Needs Awareness Program). With my uncle’s guidance, we involved Special Olympics, the local Aktion Club and the Miami Achievement Center. If given the opportunity, one never forgets the first time walking into a special needs center to help out. The children were so overly full of life.

Now in my senior year, with the support of friends, family and faculty, I was elected division lieutenant governor, Greater Miami area. Lieutenant governors are charged with maintaining order, coordinating communication and monitoring progress with several clubs – experience anyone can benefit from. Our monthly Division meetings help explain and mentor current and future service projects. Recently attending the international convention in Memphis, TN enhanced my management skills. After attending several seminars, I embraced performing better and was inspired by learning how to become a better leader.

Key Club provides members with opportunities to build character and develop leadership. One learns to take these values to heart in order to succeed in any organization. Proud to be part of it, dues are paid from my internship compensation at Alton Madison Property Management in Homestead. My father, Salvatore, and Uncle Charles always told me that positive thinking, relationships, character and leadership are foundations for success.

Although one cannot predict the future, performing my trusted position the best I can is key. Having begun to appreciate the financially meager childhoods of my father and uncle and learning from their principles, they and I continue to become successful in light of this current economic condition. As lieutenant governor, I don’t have as much experience in the field as the example they have set. Consequently, I aspire to become a life-long member of Kiwanis. The ultimate reward is forming lasting relationships, become an intelligent leader and an even better person. My sister Alex still isn’t impressed.

For more information or anyone interested in joining or starting a Key Club in their high school, contact me at

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