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Kiwanis Club of Morgan Hill Living Large through Community Service J uan Lorenzo struggled to adapt to his new environment. He was eleven-years-old and enrolled in Fifth Grade. He couldn’t speak Eng- lish. Living in Morgan Hill, he was a stranger in a strange land. Several years earlier, his mother had moved to America and settled in Morgan Hill from her native Columbia, leaving Juan behind. She earned her permanent residence status and worked until she was able to bring Juan to America for a better opportunity to succeed in life. Early on, Juan realized that in order to be successful he needed to learn English and help himself by working hard. So he did. Juan graduated from Sobrato High School in 2016. With his sights set on college, he applied for and received a Turnaround Scholarship provided by the Morgan Hill Kiwanis. Turnaround Scholarships are awarded to high school students who have overcome challenges and roadblocks. “What’s great about the 88 Turnaround Scholarships is that if students maintain a minimum C average or better, they can renew the scholarship through all four years of college,” said Tony Eulo, Vice President of Morgan Hill Kiwanis. When you see people doing good work, it becomes contagious. The Kiwanis are an international organization founded by a group of businessmen in Detroit, Michigan in 1915. Originally formed as a business networking organization, the Kiwanis changed their mission in 1919 to one that focuses on service to children. Their motto, confirmed in 2005, is “Serving the Children of the World.” The term Kiwanis comes from a Native American Indian language of tribal peoples whose history is based in the Detroit area, “Nunc Kee-wanis,” which means, “we trade.” GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN The Morgan Hill Kiwanis chapter was chartered in 1952 and is one of 7,700 affiliate clubs in 80 countries. It has a membership of 48 dedicated people. They put on the annual downtown Holiday Lights parade, hang the flags and banners downtown, maintain and install the holiday snowflakes, conduct an annual senior breakfast, support Cecelia’s Closet, act as Election-day ballot couriers, sponsor and participate in Key Clubs at Live Oak and Ann Sobrato, and provide contributions to local groups like Brittion’s Robotic Club and their Science Trip, Spirit of Morgan Hill Girls Softball League, Morgan Hill Pony Baseball, Troop 799 Campership, Backpacks for students, and the Edward “Boss” Prado foundation, among others. It seems like an awful lot of work for only forty-eight people to undertake. “Yes. Well, we have a lot of really dedicated people,” chuckled Kim Wittman, President of the club. “Our membership is growing, but we are always looking to add new members.” Juan will start his junior year this August at Chico State. “Thanks to the OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2018 gmhtoday.com Kiwanis Written By Craig Lore