AGEC Sophomore Serves Local Community through Circle K International

Written by: Jo Thomas, Academic Advisor

Rylee Briel (AGMG, Valparaiso) found her passion in service learning when she joined Key Club International as a high school student. The organization, a branch of Kiwanis International, challenges students to become leaders in their local communities. In the fall of 2018, Rylee began her first year at Purdue and knew she wanted to continue her involvement in service learning. 

While Key Club is exclusive to high schools, students at the collegiate level can join Circle K International. Circle K International is the world’s largest international collegiate service organization and have no affiliation with Circle K the gas company. The volunteer organization is present on thousands of college campuses throughout the world and functions from the club to regional and state to international levels.

Rylee’s personal experience with Circle K is unique, allowing her to be actively involved at different levels including the Indiana District Officer Board and Purdue’s local chapter. As a freshman, she served as the District Event Coordinator, which involved planning four statewide events for all of the collegiate clubs to attend. This year she has been the District Treasurer for the state board. This position involves ensuring all clubs pay their yearly dues, creating the fiscal budget for the district, and sending invoices out for registration costs to statewide events and conventions.

Circle K promotes itself as a service leadership program actively engaging its members through volunteer work. Through service leadership, Rylee has been able to grow as a young professional. “I have held a few big roles on the state board and this has allowed me to attend Kiwanis meetings where I had to speak in front of bigger groups of adults, as well as host professional silent auction dinners and conventions for several college students.”

Through her involvement in Circle K, Rylee has had many opportunities to form a network of inspiring college students by attending their state conventions in Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky, as well as having them visit Indiana to see how their district functions. During the summer, she has attended the International Convention, which welcomes Circle K members from many different countries to a hot spot in the U.S. such as Las Vegas or Orlando.

Rylee’s favorite part about volunteering for Circle K has been the opportunity to volunteer for her local community. While Circle K is exclusively for the college students, Rylee plans to continue serving her community long after her academic career is over. “I am planning on joining the adult version of Circle K after graduating, which is Kiwanis! There are Kiwanis Clubs present in thousands of towns around the U.S. and continues to do outreach aimed at helping children throughout the world.”

Interested in learning more about how you can get involved? Rylee has some advice, “Our Purdue Circle K club is open to join at any point during the school year and has various community service projects each week that students can participate in whenever their schedule allows. Club involvement is whatever you'd like it to be, so if you want to become a leader, then it's for you, and if you just want to do service a few times a year, it's still a great club for you!” 

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