Serving those who need support

Courtesy PhotoSophomores Mara Durán-Clark (left), Isabelle Galgano and Dia Arora started the Key Club at Andover High. 

About 40 high schoolers gathered over Zoom for a new club at Andover High.

Their call: to serve the community.

"The turnout was amazing," said Dia Arora, one of the co-presidents of the new Key Club at Andover High School. "We were expecting about 15, especially because it was over Zoom."

Arora leads the newly-revived club with co-president Isabelle Gagano and vice president Mara Durán-Clark. The three sophomores started the club this year because they wanted to serve their community. Having time to watch the news and reflect on current events in the spring made them think about how they could each help out, Durán-Clark said.

"Isabelle was doing the research of how we could make a difference in our own community and we all jumped on board," Durán-Clark sald.

The club's first service project is a food drive for the Lazurus House in Lawrence, Gagano said. 

"Currently, we are working on a COVID-friendly food drive with the Lazurus House where people can put food on their porches and we will collect it and bring it there," she said. "Right now (in the pandemic) food drives are really important."

Pickup will be on weekends between Nov. 1 and 14, Gagano said. 

Key Clubs around the country are student-led service clubs associated with Kiwanis Clubs. Gagano said she wants the club to be a place where students can both serve and learn leadership skills. She's been working with the Greater Lawrence Kiwanis Club to organize events.

The student club is going to help out with the Kiwanis' annual cleanup of the George Street Bridge in November and the annual Santa Night, said Bob MacDougall, the Greater Lawrence Kiwanis Club president. As a former high school teacher, he is looking forward to the enthusiasm high schoolers bring to service, he said.

"I love the enthusiasm and energy," MacDougall said. "For projects like the bridge clean up and Santa Night, teenagers are just awesome and spectacularly energetic."

People can keep up with the club's activities by following them on Instagram @keyclubatahs and can email them to participate in the food drive at keyclubatahs@gmail.com

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