Malden High School Key Club members attended the 70th annual District Educational Conference (DECON). The event was held at a hotel in Springfield, Massachusetts for the New England and Bermuda District Key Clubs. The conference was held over the course of three days in April.

The conference consisted of meetings, activities, and an awards ceremony presented to the members of the club. Members learn tips to progress and improve as a club for the future while also building lifelong relationships with other peers from the various schools.

Sophomore Jamie Wu attended the event “to experience a fun trip with [her] friends.” She enjoyed “meeting Key Clubbers from different cities and states.” She attended conferences and workshops that were part of the program. Wu also participated in the elections for district and international office.

Two delegates are chosen from each club to attend “additional conferences and voting for the next year’s district board,” says Loc. Malden’s Key Club “usually [has their] class officer election right before [they] go into DECON” so that the new President and Vice President attend as delegates.

Senior Brenda Loc is the DECON chair for this year’s conference. Her role is to “tend to anything that involves DECON.” She also presented the tri-fold at the conference alongside Senior Treasurer Sophia Oliveira. DECON was stressful for the officers for various reasons. Officers had to meet many deadlines with payment and communication with the club “was very difficult.” Although the process was difficult, Loc said that “at the end, everything worked out and the conference was a success.” Loc states that “[she has] acquired even more skills as a leader and a volunteer” from every trip she has attended.

Loc attended the general member conference and was “taught tips and tricks on how to better” Key Club by members from the District Board. Speakers from other organizations and programs spoke to members about their services. The workshops “taught members, officers, and advisors the importance of working outside [their] district on a global level.”

Sophomore Sandra Rivadeneira is the current vice president of the Malden High Key Club. She attended the event as an officer representing Malden during the Service Fair. She explained that “as officers [they] prepared by creating [their] scrapbook for a contest as well as creating a poster for a Service Fair.” Being apart of this has conference taught her that “making a difference is hard and doing it alone is really difficult,” however, with such a vast amount of students coming together, it reminded her of “why [she] loves doing service.” She enjoyed meeting “other kids who also aspire to make a difference in other people’s lives.” Her favorite Keynote Speakers were from the District Project, Camp Sunshine. She says “learning the mission of the camp and what they need helped inform [her] and bring ideas to the club as to what [the club] can do to support them.” Next year, Rivadeneira will be DECON chair for the 2020 conference.

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