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Mount Vernon Kiwanis Club Awards Scholarships

Holly Johnson and Katherine Yeom will have a little help with their tuition to San Diego University and the University of Maryland, thanks to the Mount Vernon Kiwanis Club. They were each awarded a $1,000 scholarship at last month's dinner meeting at the Mount Vernon Country Club. They received this award because they are outstanding Key Club graduating seniors at both West Potomac High School and Hayfield Secondary School.

"Both Holly and Katherine were members and the president of their respective High School Key Clubs," said Paul Mehler, president of the Kiwanis Club. "Mount Vernon Kiwanis sponsors these Key Clubs because they are student-led organizations that perform community service, they build character, and they develop leadership.

"Each High School Key Club has more than 50 members who get involved with many community service projects. They have a complete set of officers. They meet twice a month to plan fundraising and community projects. Our scholarships are awarded yearly to graduating seniors of each Key Club. Funds are sent to the college of their choice."

Mehler went on to explain that the scholarships are awarded primarily based upon a Key Club member's leadership and participation in Community Service projects.

"They should have good grades as well, but that is not the primary consideration in judging the scholarship winners," said Mehler. "We [Mount Vernon Kiwanis] are a service club with emphasis on community service projects particularly those which help children, the elderly, and the less fortunate. We are trying to instill this kind of quality in Key Club members. High Schools now are realizing the importance of community service by requiring honor roll and certain Advanced Placement students to perform community service as a graduating requirement."

While there is currently no Key Club at Mount Vernon High School, Mehler is hoping that they will start one this fall. When they do, the Kiwanis Club will award a third $1,000 scholarship to a Key Club graduating senior there.

For more information about the Kiwanis or Key Club, call 703-780-8494 or visit www.mtvernonkiwanis.org.