NHS: More than grades
More isn’t expected of us because we are in the National Honor Society. We are in the NHS because we have shown that more can be expected of us. An average of 90 or above along with three teacher recommendations, and demonstrations of scholarship, leadership, service and character are required to be a member.
We also make a commitment that we will be there at 11:30 a.m. sharp on meeting days, or else face the wrath of our beloved sponsor, Laurie Barello.
Each year, every member must complete 10 hours of documented community service, though most complete much more. We have annual projects like our blood drives (the next of which is Friday, April 13, if you’d like to help by donating!) and Pennies for Patients. This year, we raised more than $200 in change to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of South Texas. We put all of the coins in a giant piggy bank and I had the honor of lugging it into the bank and apologetically explaining myself to the teller.
It was quite a spectacle.
We also do random projects that people ask us to do, like host a booth at the Halloween Carnival.
The most interesting project we’ve done was Bead for Life. Women in Uganda use paper from old magazines to make beautiful beads and jewelry, which is then bought at fair trade prices by the non-profit organization Bead for Life.
Volunteers can then host “Bead Parties” through them and sell a variety of this jewelry to their friends and family. The NHS hosted one of these parties and sold more than $600 worth of merchandise to help feed the families of these Ugandan women.
Now, the year is coming to a close, and about half of us are graduating. Soon, a new group of students will be inducted into the National Honor Society and taught the “four pillars,” so they, too, can uphold Scholarship, Leadership, Service and Character throughout their lives.
Hannah Ferguson Johns is president of the Port Aransas High School chapter of the National Honor Society.