0912 key club rebecca riley
Key Club International President Rebecca Riley, a Homewood High School senior, volunteers at Children’s of Alabama. Photo courtesy of Cayleigh Cummings.
The world’s largest high school organization has chosen one of our own as its leader.
Rebecca Riley, a senior at Homewood High School, was elected president of Key Club International this summer in Orlando at its international convention. Riley had previously served as a Key Club international trustee, and before that as a lieutenant governor on the state level.
Rebecca spoke with The Homewood Star after returning from Indianapolis, where she presided over her first international board meeting as president.
“Leading this organization is such a great honor,” she said. “Key Club has taught me so much about the value of service and the impact we can have on the lives of others.”
Rebecca’s dad, Homewood attorney Rob Riley, watched with joy in Orlando as students from the U.S. and other nations chose his daughter as their leader.
“Rebecca has great energy and a heart for service,” he said. “As parents, we’ll always see Rebecca as our little girl, so it’s amazing to watch an international organization choose her as its president.”
2012-2013 promises to be even busier for Rebecca than for most Key Club International presidents, as she will continue her weekly duties as drum major for the Homewood High School band.
“It’s going to be busy, especially during football season,” she said with a laugh. “It’s just fun to do both, and I want to enjoy my senior year of high school at Homewood. The administration, my teachers and our Key Club faculty advisors have made this possible because of their great support.”
Also in Orlando were Riley’s grandparents, Bob and Patsy Riley, who also understand a few things about elections. Bob Riley served as Governor of Alabama from 2003 to 2009 and as a U.S. Congressman for three terms. Many in Alabama, and some in the national media, had urged Governor Riley to run for President in 2012.
“We had a laugh when I told him I was running,” Rebecca said of her grandfather. “I told him I was running for president rather than his telling me he was running for president.”
Rebecca is the oldest of Rob and Leslie Riley’s four children and has enjoyed sharing the joy with her mom, two sisters and brother.
“They all want to join Key Club now,” she said of her siblings. “They don’t want to wait. We have enjoyed this as a family.”
Founded in 1925, Key Club International brings service to the world through the efforts of over a quarter of a million high school students. Each local Key Club is founded and sponsored by a Kiwanis Club and performs service projects and fundraising activities to help people and groups in their own area, and beyond.
One of Riley’s goals as president is bringing more students from around the world to the international convention.
“We’re working with corporate sponsors to provide scholarships allowing members to attend the convention,” she said.
Because next year’s convention will be held in Washington, D.C., Riley has already made her first choice for its keynote speaker.
“We’re inviting the President of the United States,” she said. “There is no reason not to start at the top.”
Starting at the top is the way Riley does everything, and Homewood High School can celebrate the success of one of its own.