In 1921, The National Honor Society was formed to honor students who have excelled in scholarship, leadership, service, and character. 100 years later, the organization is still as active as ever at Central High School.
Before you look at the present, you need to look back at the past. In 1921, The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) officially established The National Honor Society. At the time, local and regional honor societies existed but there was no honor society that was nationwide. The NHS was the first.
Since the beginning, there were four main purposes of the organization: to create enthusiasm for high-level learning; to stimulate a desire to help others within their community; to promote leadership, and to develop character in students.
“It’s supposed to recognize people who excel in academics and leadership positions, and get people involved in the community,” said Mrs. Andrea Menendez, sponsor of the Central High School NHS.
At CHS, there are a few requirements put in place to join the NHS. To become a member, one would need to apply. A person can apply at the end of their sophomore year, if they have a 3.5GPA or above, which they have to maintain throughout their time in the NHS. On the application, they would need four teacher recommendations and they would need to write an essay about their core values. If they get chosen there would be a small introduction ceremony; however, there is a limit of 35 to 40 members so depending on the number of students applying it can be competitive.
As a member of the NHS, one would have to complete a required 15 hours of community service a year. This includes 10 hours of NHS-sponsored activities such as Boo at the Zoo, Fantasy of Trees, and certain activities with the Boys and Girls Club. It’s important to be as involved as possible through the commitment is flexible as long as you follow the basic rules.
“ I decided to join the NHS because I felt like it was a good way for me to be a part of the community and motivate me to continue putting in hard work in my classes and maintain a high GPA,” said junior and new member of the NHS, Serenity Jackson, when talking about why she joined the organization.
The benefits of being an NHS member include; recognition from faculty and piers, a graduation cord, and the opportunity to put it on college applications.
“I would say to anyone looking to join NHS that you should definitely do it. The community outreach is great and it is an honor to be recognized with other top students in the school. Being able to do things for the younger generation really affects them more than you know and they always will look up to you and admire the fact that you’re a Central Bobcat helping them,” said senior, Ryan Bolton, when asked why someone should join the NHS.
The NHS over the past 100 years has remained a well-respected organization that has developed the character and responsibility of students for generations and for many more generations to come at CHS.