The National Honor Society is the premier organization honoring high school student achievement. Students earn membership into NHS by demonstrating “excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service and character,” according to its website. Once NHS initiates its new inductees, students can get involved by assuming a leadership role in the organization, promoting the organization in the community or volunteering on behalf of NHS.
Run for office. NHS chapters have annual leadership positions like president and vice president. By assuming a leadership role, you can remain involved in all facets of the organization, helping to plan events, induct new members and work with the school and community. Plus, a leadership role looks great on college applications and shows your commitment to the organization.
Volunteer on behalf of the organization. Help organize a community service project for a local organization, like Habitat for Humanity or a local animal shelter. Volunteer work upholds the organization’s commitment to service and unites members in social activity for a good cause.
Organize a fundraiser for a charitable organization. Find a homeless shelter in the area that needs donations, or choose a local family that needs support around the holidays. To raise funds, host a bake sale or recycling drive outside of a school sporting event. The funds raised can go to the charitable organization. The Kansas Department of Education suggests fundraising activities like a carnival, silent auction or bingo night for schools.
Tutor students in need. To maintain your commitment to academic excellence, use your talents to tutor students who are off track. Together with your NHS comrades—and with the permission of your adviser—organize a math or writing lab held before or after school. Students can visit for help with their schoolwork in a comfortable, peer-reviewed setting.
Participate in National Student Leadership Week. NHS celebrates this week once a year to promote student leadership. In 2010, the week’s theme was “Step Up to Safety.” NHS encouraged its members to promote topics like safe teen driving, safe dating and Internet safety. Let the week’s theme guide you in the activities you choose to organize on campus.
Talk to your faculty adviser about activities that have worked in the past. She can offer useful suggestions for effective ways to represent NHS at school and in the community.
Check out the NHS website for resources about student involvement in the organization. See Resource 1 for details.
Find community service organizations in need by doing some research on the Internet. For example, Habitat for Humanity’s website allows you to search for volunteer opportunities locally. See Resource 2.
Barbie Carpenter worked as a technical writer and editor in the defense industry for six years. She also served as a newspaper feature page editor and nationally syndicated columnist for the Hearst Corp. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in professional writing from the University of Central Florida.