The ‘Key’ to Success: A Profile of Juan Navarrete

Juan Navarrete trains the 2018 - 2019 Key Club Officers with informational Presentations.

Yasmine Fragoso

Juan Navarrete trains the 2018 - 2019 Key Club Officers with informational Presentations.

Troy Gamurot, Journalist

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Being a student at University Preparatory requires more than just wit alone. With the need for time management, stress management, and emotional composure necessary for success, it may seem impossible to fit anything more into your busy life, but Juan Navarrete has proven against this system of stress. Despite being a busy senior, as it is, Juan has still been able to hold and run an officer position for the entire California-Nevada-Hawaii’s collective Key Club District. With the Key Club’s upcoming Six Flags event and collective preparation necessary to have it run smoothly, Juan and the club have been busier than ever. But with all of this talk about Key Clubs and Fall Rallies, it begs the question on as to why? Why be involved in Key Club in the first place and why run for his officer position? Through his Key Club experience and leadership role, he has simply come to accept that key clubbing is simply a way of life.

Travelling back to the beginning of the 2016 school year’s Club Fair, Mr. Navarrete begins his path into the spirited life of Key Club. Walking into the crowd, he shuffles between the horde of students and observes the different club’s booths and services. With colorful posters and leaflets galore, there were simply too many clubs to choose from. However, through the masses of people, a voice rang in his ears, drawing him to the booth of Paws for Change – a previous, collective incarnation of the clubs Interact, Seek to Inspire, and Key Club. 2017 Graduate Mandy Shek had been cheering and motivating people to join the collective group with informational pamphlets on Key Club and her own ebullient disposition. Stressing the importance of the Club’s mission to support the community and the leadership gained from serving others over ourselves, Mrs. Shek was able to persuade many to stay and listen. Enticed, Juan consulted the counselors for help, wondering whether or not he should join. Of course, the counselors recommended he participate, stating that it would only help him in the future, especially on college and job applications. Despite knowing only the club’s promise of service projects and community aid, Juan joined the club, unknowing of the future ahead of him.

After learning all about Key Club’s goals, opportunities, and benefits in his introductory year in the Club, Juan felt ready to become more involved starting his second Key Club year. Upon hearing about an upcoming event, Fall Rally, Mr. Navarrete felt that participating was an excellent way to become more involved. Driving to Serrano early on a Saturday morning, he wasn’t sure what to expect. Sure, the videos and stories he heard about Fall Rally were one thing, but experiencing it himself was another. Upon arrival, the students were greeted with crowds of spirited individuals, each donning their own signature colors in pride. Going through the crowd and towards the front gates of the park, his ears filled with empowering chants sung in unison by many and his eyes overloaded by the rainbow of colors in front of him. Despite the massive display present in the front of the park, the actual Rally Event was incomparable. With the colors by the hundred and cheers being shouted by the thousands, the Spirit rally was unlike anything he had experienced before. The unity of Key Clubs across the California-Nevada-Hawaii region inspired Mr. Navarrete to become a better Key Clubber, but seeing our previous Lieutenant Governor, Sophia Kim, perform on the rally stage is what truly ignited his desire to become a leader.

With all his current responsibilities and projects, Juan knows that it is just as important to reflect on himself as it is to complete the next deadline. Despite the various report forms, mandatory visits, and official requirements that preoccupy and consume his time, Juan knows that it is paramount to always uphold and act with the Key Club goals of service, leadership, and community in mind.