The Program 

What is Key Leader?

Key Leader is a weekend program focusing on encouraging high school students to explore what it means to be a servant leader. The Key Leader program is built on five essential principles. These principles reflect our mission to inspire young people to achieve their personal best through service leadership:

  • Personal Integrity: Doing the right thing
  • Personal Growth: Developing in mind, body, and spirit
  • Respect: Showing consideration for self, others, and property
  • Building Community: Developing relationships to achieve positive goals
  • Pursuit of Excellence: Expecting and achieving the best

Please take time to read our Key Leader stories, and feel free to submit an article sharing your own words of wisdom or success story related to these principles. The articles you find here are written by participants of the program, both students and adults. You can submit articles yourself or by contacting the District Coordinator using the "Contacts" link to the left. 

Kiwanis International describes Key Leader as a weekend experiential leadership program for students from 14-20 years of age. This life-changing event focuses on service leadership as the most meaningful leadership-development experience. A Key Leader will learn the most important lesson of leadership—it comes from helping others succeed.



Participants attend large and small group workshops, discussions, and team-building activities throughout the course of the weekend. Students have opportunities to learn leadership skills that will help them to change their schools, communities, and world for the better. While exploring leadership in a whole new way, participants will make amazing new friends and have experiences they will never forget. Positive, ongoing interaction with other Key Leader graduates offers continuing reinforcement, encouragement and growth of leadership skills.

Since April 2005, Key Leader has served more than 21,000 students at 450 Key Leader events in 39 U.S. States, 5 Canadian provinces, Malaysia, Brazil, Cayman Islands, El Salvador and Singapore.

Supporting Key Leaders since 2005