Editor’s Note: This post was written and submitted by 2018/2019 Oklahoma/Arkansas Central District Vice President.
“Your next 2018/2019 OK/AR Central District Vice President is…Kimberly Kay” those are words I never expected to hear but did in March of 2018. I joined PTK as a concurrent high school student during the spring semester of my senior year in high school, but I didn’t become actively involved until I started as a full-time student at my community college. I attended my first few chapter meetings and my first regional HIA meeting and knew I wanted to have a larger leadership role within the organization.
On the way home from the regional HIA meeting that happened in the fall semester, I told my advisor that I wanted to run for a regional officer position in the spring. After telling her this, I remember going home and having doubts fill my mind. I didn’t hold a chapter leadership position. I was new to my college and region. Plus, I already had a lot of my time committed to other things. I worked 30-50 hours a week, volunteered each week, was heavily involved on campus, and had a full class load. I pushed through those doubts with the support of my chapter and advisor and ran.
While preparing to run, I jumped in with both feet and learned more about Phi Theta Kappa and the opportunities it had. I also grew relationships with my chapter and advisor while creating my campaign posters and speech. At my regional convention, campaigning was not allowed during the first day; however, I utilized my time talking with other chapters and networking with members in my region. It was a great experience of truly getting to know fellow Phi Theta Kappans, and it pushed me outside of my comfort zone of wanting to just stay with “my people ” that I already knew. I created friendships at that conference that I still have two years later.
My time as a regional officer will forever be some of my favorite moments, from officer training, running regional convention and meetings, to attending Honors Institute and all the moments in between, I grew as a leader, follower, communicator, friend, planner, and student. I made connections all across the region and received opportunities to grow continually throughout my year as a regional officer.
If I could give any PTK member a word of advice it is to jump in and RUN! You get more out of PTK the more you are involved, and PTK has so much to offer!
If you are ready to make running for regional office your next step in connecting with all that PTK offers members, do like Kimberly and reach out to your regional coordinator. You’ll be glad you did!