Key Club is the oldest and largest service program for high school students. The organization was started by California State Commissioner of Schools Albert C. Olney and vocational education teacher Frank C. Vincent who work together to establish the first Key Club at Sacramento High School in California on May 7, 1925. Female students were first admitted in 1977, ten years before women were admitted to the sponsoring organization, Kiwanis International.
The name “Kiwanis” means “we trade” or “we share our talents.” It was coined from an American Indian expression, Nunc Kee-wanis.
What makes Key Club so successful is the fact that it is a student-led organization that teaches leadership through serving others. Its members not only contribute to the school, but to the community as well. During the 1980-81 school year, its Leuzinger High School members installed smoke detectors in the homes of Hawthorne Senior Citizens, managed the Christmas Tree lot, and sold booklets at athletic events. It remained one of the strongest clubs on campus.