Key to success: Moffat County’s Kimber Wheeler ready to make impact after Key Club convention
As she attends Moffat County High School for her junior year this fall, Kimber Wheeler already has plenty in mind for how to guide fellow members of the school service group.
Wheeler attended the International Convention in early July in Baltimore on behalf of MCHS Key Club.
The trip, made possible with funding from Craig Kiwanis Club, allowed her to meet and mingle with fellow students in the organization from the United States, Canada and Caribbean regions.
“Key Club members around the world are learning how to lead and stand for what’s right through service and volunteerism,” the organization’s website stated. “In partnership with their local Kiwanis club, high school students are making a positive impact as they serve others in their schools and communities.”
Earlier this year, Wheeler was selected as lieutenant governor for District 8 — including MoCo, Grand Valley, Basalt and Glenwood Springs — of the Rocky Mountain District for Key Club, which encompasses Colorado and Wyoming, as well as parts of Nebraska and New Mexico.
Wheeler was one of only two from Colorado to make the trip to Baltimore, only two days after she competed at the national level for 4-H archery.
The convention included multiple forums as Key Club members met and heard from fellow delegates about topics important to their work in communities.
Wheeler said one of the subjects that struck a chord with her was “food insecurity.”
“They talked about how in schools they could programs in place for kids who don’t get three meals a day,” she said.
Another subject that the Rocky Mountain District promotes is Thirst Project, aiming to provide clean drinking water to struggling nations, with high school fundraising contributing to the construction of wells.
The charity’s website states that 663 million people — nearly one-tenth of the world populace — across the globe lack access to safe, clean drinking water.
“600 million people is a lot for me to think about,” Wheeler said.
Other topics at the convention were more on the formality of effectively running meetings, such as Robert’s Rules of Order.
“There’s a proper way to make a motion or to interrupt someone,” Wheeler said.
Though the process to register for the convention could best be described as “nerve-wracking,” Wheeler said she was happy she made the effort.
“Just the opportunity to go was incredible, and there’s some kids who go year after year, so it’s not that big a deal for them. Just going one time was an amazing experience,” she said. “Getting to meet all the different people from all over the world who have the same passion for community service and helping people that we don’t even know is way crazy.”
MCHS Key Club adviser Cassia McDiffett said Wheeler’s “service heart” and interest in nonprofits and their functions has already served her well.
“I think she’ll continue to grow in that and learn how to find out what the needs are in communities,” McDiffett said. “I know she’ll be very impactful wherever she ends up.”
McDiffett said the club had a membership of 35 last year and will be seeking new people once the school year begins in late August.
With her role at the district level, Wheeler is unable to hold an elected position with the Moffat County chapter of Key Club, though she said the group is in good hands with incoming senior MaKala Herndon as president.
“I worked really closed with her last year, and we’ll probably work even closer this year,” Wheeler said. “She’s super-nice and has really good ideas for this year.”
Wheeler said she plans to bring up plenty of ideas locally how her peers can make an impact, including working with middle school students and collaborating with efforts such as Love INC of the Yampa Valley, Have a Heart Week, Christmas 4 Kids, and financial allocations.
“It fills my heart with a lot of joy to know that a lot of people have the passion to do that stuff,” she said.
A learn-by-doing methodology was on display Friday at the Loudy-Simpson Park pond as Moffat County High School science students learned quickly whether or not they had a future in engineering.