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The Service Leadership Model

The primary educational objective of Kiwanis Service Leadership Programs, including Builders Club, is to prepare students to be the most engaged members of their current and future communities. We do this by giving young people the experience of service leadership. Service leadership is the powerful force that occurs once people discover their heart to serve, answer their call to lead, and exercise the courage to engage. It’s the premier level of social contribution.

Heart to serve


Here’s one of the best things about Builders Club: when students see service as a new, exciting way of life. The service club experience can help young people accept their ability to make a difference, enhance their passions and convictions, and develop their ability to empathize with those in need.

How can an advisor support the discovery of a heart to serve?

  • Ensure that service remains front and center in the club’s purpose. 
  • Facilitate conversation before and after service projects in order to help students express emotions and insights. 
  • Pay attention to members who identify a passion and help them find resources to explore that passion. 
  • Introduce the club to community charities and cause-related organizations that they might not have discovered on their own. 
  • Make sure the club’s choices for projects and service initiatives are student-led.
Call to lead
Every person has leadership potential. Builders Club helps a young person answer that call—and become someone who steps forward when standing still might have been the easier choice. In fact, the service club experience at a young age can help students accept their own leadership identity, learn to be an others-centered leader, and develop their ability to move an idea into action.

How can an advisor help members answer the call to lead? 
  • Provide training to elected leaders on the technical aspects of the job, and on the “soft” skills of listening, recognizing and empowering. 
  • Praise and recognize members who lead with humility and/or display others-centered leadership. 
  • Pay attention and show appreciation to members who contribute more than before. 
  • Talk about leaders and leadership in terms of something all members have the capacity for, and not just the officers. 
  • Make sure the club’s operations and decisions are student-led.
Courage to engage
With Builders Club, members begin to live a life of collaboration rather than isolation. More than ever before, young people need to develop effective face-to-face interaction. The service club experience at a young age can help students see collaboration as the key to success, learn to build coalitions that address community needs, and build strong connections through conversation.

How can an advisor help spark the courage to engage? 
  • Engage members in recruiting peers, whether through a single service project or with invitations to join the club. 
  • Encourage club officers to include fellowship time at every meeting, using “icebreaker” activities to promote interaction. 
  • Set aside time for educating members on core skills, such as proper introductions, active listening and social interactions. 
  • Pay attention and show appreciation to members who exhibit well developed social skills. 
  • Provide opportunities for club members to interact with adult leaders and parents.