Saint Mary’s Senior Leads Key Club Convention

By Isabelle Iloreta

Kettle Staff Writer



A weekend filled with fellowship, reunion, guest speakers, and music left Key Clubbers “enchanted” throughout the Pacific Coast. On April 12-14th, over 1,000 club members from California, Nevada, and Hawaii gathered together in Sacramento for Key Club’s annual District Convention. 


Often referred to as DCON, the weekend was a celebration of Key Club’s excellence during the 2023-2024 term. The California-Nevada-Hawaii (CNH) District achievements were recognized, a new leadership board was elected, and club members attended various educational workshops. 


 There are 33 Key Club districts nationwide and these districts are divided into smaller divisions and regions. Within the CNH District, St. Mary’s is from Region 16, Division 27N out of a total 17 regions and 79 divisions—as one can imagine, there were hundreds of dedicated club members that attended DCON. Among these hundreds, St. Mary’s was well-represented. In addition to the eight SM Key Club representatives that attended, two SM seniors made a significant impact on the convention itself, an amazing accomplishment in consideration of the numerous people involved in Key Club across the country.


Angelina Nguyen, senior, was the CNH District Convention Chair for 2023-2024. Along with members of her committee, she was the primary organizer for DCON and led the entire weekend.   


Since her election back in May of 2023, she and her team worked tirelessly to perfect the event; “As DCON Chair, in collaboration with the District Leadership Team, I organized all details/logistics, assisted membership in preparing and registering for DCON, created content that promoted DCON to increase attendance, and established a Code of Conduct/enforcement policy.” She dedicated many hours to DCON, and due to her lack of prior experience, the task was initially daunting and stressful, “I was a chair of 10 lieutenant governors (leaders of Key Club districts) and 3 adult mentors. After initially burning out (taking a lot of responsibilities on my own); however, I learned how to closely work with my committee — delegating and planning decorations, donation exchange, expos, Governor’s Ball Music, workshops, etc.”        


  Every year, each organizer is encouraged to create new tactics to increase registration. Angie shared with us the changes she put forward during her time as DCON chair, “I implemented 8 new components to the convention which were all successful: promotional reels, bracelet trading, 2 student-artist pin designs, a donation exchange where all funds went to the Yes! Initiative (we received over $4000), a DCON banner for pictures, a sponsorship system that helped decrease convention costs, a hotel rooming system, and DCON booklets that provided convention information and fundraising options.” 


 Throughout the weekend, attendees visited a variety of organized events. Key Clubbers attended expos, learned about successful chapter service projects, and connected with fellow club members in different regions. 


 Yuki Hinayon (junior) will be next year’s SM Key Club president and learned a lot from DCON; “I went to a President and Vice President workshop and learned so much on how to properly communicate with my board for a successful term and make general meetings more engaging and attractive.” 


As it was her first DCON, Yuki reported that the experience was very fun; “I got to talk with so many club members from the CNH district and learned a lot more about different Key Club chapters and projects.”


 Marybelle Pogoso, senior, also played a huge role in the convention. In addition to her position as D27N’s Digital Newsletter Editor, she also designed the DCON shirts and DCON banner. She said, “The process of designing was a bit tough because the convention’s theme was “Enchanting Year of Service” and there were multiple ways I could have approached the theme.” She eventually came up with a graphic, the design displayed at the convention center and printed onto special DCON shirts. She expressed, “It was my first and last DCON and I can say it was very memorable! Being able to see hundreds of members wear the shirts I designed and take pictures with a banner I created lit me up with insane joy.”


Angie expressed similar feelings. Although a year ago Angie didn’t find herself serving as Convention Chair (originally pursuing D27N’s Lieutenant Governor position), she doesn’t regret the opportunity. “This DCON was especially memorable. My proudest moment was definitely seeing all of the hard work being displayed throughout the weekend. I was very grateful to interact with and see membership enjoy the weekend. I also received recognition myself by multiple awards, and even received the Paul L. Moyer Memorial Scholarship ($2000). My parents got to attend too and see all my work fulfilled—it was a great weekend.”


 With the hard work of Angie and Mary, it is with great pride that we should recognize their dedication to not only Saint Mary’s Key Club, but the bigger organization outside of school.