Former Key Club member becomes president elect of Kiwanis Club

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Brianna Morgan

Raising awareness. Morgan assisted the community through Key Club while in high school. Now she does her part as an adult by attending different events to spread the word and to help local children. “I attend golf outings that help raise money for the club that hosts them. Any Big Brothers Big Sisters of Blair County event that I participate in raises money for children in our area,” Morgan said.

As a junior and a senior, Brianna Morgan was a member of the Key Club. She helped out at the Halloween parade, assisted the elementary school Buddy Club and helped the Salvation Army until she graduated in 2011. 

Four years ago, Morgan joined the Kiwanis club in Altoona. Now she’s president elect.

“It came as a surprise. I was just planning on being a regular member, but [Kiwanis] wanted a younger person involved in this type of position,” Morgan said.

The Kiwanis club donates to different organizations throughout the community to help local children. In 2022, the club donated to Kids for Community, Mountain Lion Backpack program, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Blair County, Blair Hope for Families, The Door in Bellwood and the Altoona Library, among others. The Kiwanis club also gave out four scholarships to students.

“It’s challenging for me since I can’t always make meetings with my work schedule, but I feel like I am still accomplishing something and enjoy being involved,” Morgan said.

Morgan will serve as president of the club for a year. She aims to continue the work of the former presidents and hopes to get more members involved. Morgan wants to find more ways to help the community.

“[I want to spread] more awareness for struggling kids and families in our area, as well as [get] more recognition for our club, so we can do more,” Morgan said.

Morgan is currently volunteering for The Blair County African American Heritage Festival, is a participant in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Blair County events, a helper at the Dean Patterson Little League golf outings and is an executive member of the Blair County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Being president elect of the Kiwanis club enables her to continue to impact the community.

“[Being president elect] means a lot because I love making a difference in people’s lives and helping when and where I can,” Morgan said.

Morgan presently works at a bank that encourages their employees to volunteer in the community. Throughout all of the events that Morgan is involved in, there is one person she feels inspired by. 

“[I’m inspired by] my manager Jackie Lantzy. She is on the board of several clubs, is a strong influential business woman in our community and is someone who is willing to help,” Morgan said.

When Morgan was in primary school, she was a part of the Buddy Club, an after school program for elementary students. She recalled that Key Club students were always there helping out and decided to join the club her junior year. 

“I enjoyed helping the kids out at Buddy Club because it was for children who needed somewhere to go after school; [we were] showing the kids there are people there for them,” Morgan said.

Having Key Club part of Kiwanis is important in the community because it helps high schoolers become involved and see how important volunteering is, which in turn, makes them want to continue to do good.”

— Brianna Morgan

In addition to helping out with Buddy Club, the Key Club attended Kiwanis Club luncheons and meetings. This partnership has allowed members of both clubs to give back to the community.

Having Key Club part of Kiwanis is important in the community because it helps high schoolers become involved and see how important volunteering is, which in turn, makes them want to continue to do good,” Morgan said.

Looking back, Morgan realized that being a member of Key Club sparked the ambition in her to help out in the community.

“[Key Club] helped me see our town in a different perspective and start volunteering where and when I could,” Morgan said.

The AAHS Key Club currently has 35 members. Advisers Susan Farabaugh, part of the Special Education department and Kristie Williams, part of the PAWS program, have led the student service organization in Altoona for the past 12 years.

“Key club means giving students a chance to get out and give back to the community they live in,” Farabaugh said.

The Key Club has left its mark on sophomore Eileena Guo as well. The 2022-2023 school year is her first time joining the club.

“I learned to talk to new people, to make new friends. Normally, I wouldn’t go out to parades. We help people; we donate money to charities. I guess it has made me do things that I didn’t do in the past,” Guo said.

Farabaugh hopes to encourage students to volunteer now and to continue to do good things for others as they grow up. 

“[Key Club] has inspired me to help out more with my own daughter to show her, even though she is young, she can give back [to the community] as well,” Farabaugh said.

Morgan encourages those who are volunteering and helping out in the community to keep going and to voice their opinions and ideas, even if it might seem that others won’t accept them. She also encourages the community to live by this quote:

“You will discover that you have two hands. One is for helping yourself and the other is for helping others.”

– Audrey Hepburn