CLARK, NJ – Although this is his last high school summer break, 16-year-old William Shaughnessy is dedicated to keeping busy through helping others.
Shaughnessy, a rising senior at Arthur L. Johnson High School, was appointed as lieutenant governor of Key Club, an international service organization for high school students. There are 22 divisions in New Jersey, with one lieutenant governor for each division. Shaughnessy is the lieutenant governor of Division 3, which is comprised of six schools.
“It felt really good to be appointed,” Shaughnessy said. “When the district administrator called me to see if I was still interested, I actually ignored her phone calls for a few weeks because I thought she was a telemarketer. But when I talked to her, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, of course. I’d be honored.’”
Shaughnessy, who’s been a member of Key Club since his freshman year of high school, will now act as a liaison between the schools in his division and the district board, on which he also serves as a chairperson on the District Programs Committee.
“I like to know that I help someone,” he said. “It makes me feel good about myself.”
As a chairperson on the District Programs Committee, Shaughnessy leads three subcommittees that choose an advocacy purpose for his division. This year’s DPC focus is teen suicide prevention, with an emphasis on bullying.
“My parents and my Key Club advisor, Ellen Zamboni, inspire me to do well,” Shaughnessy said. “She [Zamboni] definitely plays a big role in my life.”
Outside of Key Club, Shaughnessy is an Eagle Scout and Head Counselor of 1st grade at Clark Recreation Summer Camp. He also works in a clerical position at Mechanical Contractors Association.
“It’s nice to lay down and watch Netflix, but I like to do something besides that,” Shaughnessy said.
After graduation, Shaughnessy plans to study business management at a university or college with a Circle K program, the next step from Key Club. If they don’t have a Circle K, Shaughnessy plans to charter one.
“I’m motivated by the feeling that someone will benefit from all the things I do,” Shaughnessy said. “And I just want to make sure that everyone feels appreciated.”