Keenan Holder

How am I growing in my own awareness of my strengths and weaknesses?

Personal Growth

Over the past four years of high school I have done more than just learn out of the textbooks. I have learned who I really am as both a student and a community member. Because of classes like Mrs. Archer’s Global and Mrs’ Grund’s Biology class, I have learned that I can be a student who is able to push myself to new limits that I was previously unaware of no matter how hard something may appear to be. By progressing though these, and all the other IB and Honors courses at Charter Oak, I have learned to be able to directly point out my weaknesses and directly attack the to make myself better.

What challenges have I been through?

I’ve overcome the challenge of facing things that are new to me. My first semester of IB was scary because I did not know what to expect. However, by the second semester i was able to get the hang of the academic vigor of the program. Now, in semesters three and four, i can see how much i will grow as a learner and as a citizen.
Another challenge I have been through id preparing for new things. This past summer I went on a mission trip to Thailand with my church. At first i did not know what to expect, but once we got there our hosts (who we get to see tomorrow(1-28)!!!!!) welcomed us with open arms and the transition into teaching became easy and was a blast.

In what ways have I started new challenges?

Being a Better Person

I have challenged myself to be a better student, a better friend, and a better community member. Last year when it came time to join TOK i opted to do full diploma. When I can I try to be as active with friends as possible and talk to people instead of being cooped up in my room all day. Finally, by joining the board of Charter Oak key Club as the Web Editor I have challenged myself to go above and beyond and serve our community in any way possible.

In what ways have I developed new skills?

Human Relations Skills

Due to the mission trip i went on over the summer, I have developed better human relations skills. Dealing with people of a different culture than you can seem intimidating. While going through the training, however, I learned how to communicate ideas and myself much better than I had before. The group was taught to adapt to their capabilities of learning English and be friendly with them. Most importantly, we were told to always smile and convey a sense of happiness so that the students felt welcome around us. This will not only help me in the classroom, but as I progress through life as well.
The first day teaching I didn’t know what to anticipate from the students. As my friends in IB can testify, I can become very frustrated rather quickly. Knowing this, I tried to start with a calm approach. This ended up working out and friends were made quickly with the students that we were teaching.
Through learning these skills, I can now easily adapt to anyone who may have a question or task for me. I know to be flexible and understanding of their deadlines and requests. The mission trip greatly prepared me for my senior year of IB because it taught me to not worry so much about the outcome of the work that I am doing but rather the quality and effort that I am putting in to any given task.

Mission Trip

Due to the mission trip i went on over the summer, I have developed better human relations skills. While going through the training I learned how to communicate ideas and myself much better than I had before. This will not only help me in the classroom, but as i progress through life as well.

In what ways have I shown perseverance and commitment to my activities?

I have forced myself to be committed to God, Key Club, and School. I have kept these commitments throughout the four years of high school. This will give me the skills i need to time manage in the near future and in the years to come.
Between the five hours at church every Sunday, the endless hours of Key Club work, and the seemingly endless number of hours poured into IB and extracurriculars at Charter Oak, time management has come from my perseverance and commitment to my activities. Over the last four years I have learned how to balance my time so that I can complete all the things I need to do and still get a few hours of sleep!
For the past four years I have held myself to a standard of commitment to myself and my work so that I would not fail myself. While I was also concerned about failing my teachers, parents, and school, the most important aspect of my perseverance and commitment has been to prove to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to. In all honesty, I think I have accomplished this throughout my IB career at Charter Oak.

I have forced myself to be committed to God, Key Club, and School. I have kept these commitments throughout the four years of high school. This will give me the skills i need to time manage in the near future and in the years to come.

In what ways have I worked collaboratively?


In addition to working in Thailand over the summer, students have been introduced to google docs and presentations. This is a very valuable tool that we have used in Mrs. Grund’s and Mr. Higuera’s classes for presentations. The ability to work together even when we’re not together is amazing because we can get work done almost anywhere. Using google docs has been a fun experience because it has taught me to work together in a civil manner.

Mission Trip

i worked collaboratively extensively while preparing and while on my mission trip. I was put into a group to teach fourth graders and present an English language lesson. I got to work with a fantastic group as the other two members were very supportive and on top of things. The whole team worked together to better prepare ourselves for our mission and to overcome our fears about being in a new environment in a foreign country.

In what ways have I been engaged in issues with global importance?

Sharing Our Humanity

In addition to assisting Key Club, this year’s Sharing our Humanity dinner supported The Water Project. While i indirectly helped The Water Project by getting all of the night’s technology working, I feel that the whole group was able to come together to give clean water to people in developing countries who really need it but don’t have access to it.

Project Eliminate

This year Key Club supported project Eliminate. This project give mothers shots who’s babies will be affected by neo-natal tetanus upon birth. As a part of Charter Oak Key Club i am proud to say that we have raised almost $160 dollars. This sum of money can save up to 88 lives! Another Issue I have been involved in is the issue of education. While on my mission trip I was a part of a group that taught a class of fourth graders. We helped them practice their English through bible stories and bought them gifts such and pencils, erasers, and other small toys.

What are the ethical or moral implications of what I’m doing and learning?

Helping People

The ethical and moral implications of the things listed above come from my belief that I need to help people when needed; not just when it’s convenient for me, but when it is needed. This can apply to a community and global scale and seen through efforts made by Charter Oak Key club and my mission trip, respectively. My desire to help people and make someone’s day better is what drove me into joining Key Club, and ultimately joining my mission trip team on their journey to Thailand

Service 5/31/2013

Like last semester, I worked every Sunday for approximately two hours at my church working the sound system.

Action 5/31/2013

I was on the Charter Oak swim team. I went to all the swim meets and swam any events my coaches asked me to swim. Each meet was approximately four hours.
I also participated in key club. I went to all of the meetings and am now the web designer for the club.

Creativity 5/31/2013

Every third Saturday of the month I have been going to my church for mission trip meetings. I am preparing to go to Thailand over the summer. For the two hours we are together we talk about how to prepare for the trip and what to expect while over seas.

Service 12/16/2012

Every since the beginning of this summer i have been volunteering my time, two hours each Sunday, to the sound system at my church. I also am the commissioner of sound and technology for ASB. I work the rallies and several of the lunch events. All of this adds up to plenty of service hours.

Action 12/16/2012

Over the summer i helped with Vacation Bible School at my church. I went there for one week, Monday through Friday, for three hours a day. This amasses to 15 hours over that whole week. I helped move things around, made sure kids were in the right classes, and helped with the kids’ music. Overall it was a very fun, but short experience

Creative 12/16/2012

I am currently in Charter Oak key club I go to all the meetings and help out with what i can. on the 15th of December, i went to Pasadena to help decorate float. i cut flowers for 7 and a half hours. Boy was that fun! I also marched with Key Club in the Covina Christmas parade. Key club is a great way to rack up C.A.S. hours

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