NHS Induction 2019-2020

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(Left to Right): Daniel Park, Nicholas D'Souza, Nick Eyen, Rory Swenson, James Stubbers, Kara Olander. NHS Officers stand together at the end of the 2019-2020 BVN NHS induction on November 12. Photo by Lori O'Grady.

Late September at BVN brings standardized testing, AP classes, and forms. Members of the junior class list community service hours online, fill out sheets on leadership, and ask for teacher recommendations, all in hopes of acceptance to the BVN chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS).

According to the national bylaws, the four pillars of NHS are Service, Character, Scholarship, and Leadership. Sheryl Stein, one of two sponsors for the BVN chapter of NHS, said that the students involved in NHS at BVN bring these pillars to their school. 

“The [trait] that I care about the most is character, being a good person, [and] doing the right thing,” said Stein. 

There are close to 300 students in the BVN chapter of NHS, and according to Stein, all tasked with exemplifying these pillars of NHS as members of the group. The most prominent of these is service, said Stein. The students involved in NHS are required to help with the building’s recycling, as well as other service projects throughout the year, such as trips to the Ronald McDonald House to volunteer and participation in the school blood drives. 

Junior Casey Whitworth is a new member of NHS. She says she feels strongly about service and helping in her community. Whitworth spent her summer volunteering in preparation for NHS. Among the community service activities she participated in, Whitworth helped at a children’s summer camp and taught Vacation Bible School at a local church. However, to Whitworth, the act of recording community service hours took away from the benefits. 

“The act of doing service has always been something that I really enjoy,” said Whitworth. “It was weird because it started to be like, ‘oh this service is for an end goal for me’, rather than for doing the work, so that part I didn’t like. [I was] doing it for an outcome instead of doing it to help.” 

Junior Luke Hendrickson became a part of the BVN chapter of NHS this year. According to him, the requirements were appropriate, and did a good job representing which types of students would be a good fit for NHS. Hendrickson said that his primary motivation, like other students, for becoming part of NHS was the boost it would give his resume, but also because of the community service opportunities. 

“[The application] did a good job of asking certain questions about your character, [and] your leadership,” said Hendrickson. “I think that 40 hours of community service is also reasonable because it’s not an easy task… but if you just put your mind to it and… don’t just do it to be accepted, it’s pretty easy.”

Although the process of induction into NHS gives opportunities, Junior Alexsandra Doege said that the application submitted didn’t fully represent her as a student. Doege was inducted into NHS, but according to her, the standards don’t adequately show hard work. 

“I feel like in the application they just looked at your grades, they looked at your accomplishments but not how hard you worked to get to the accomplishments. For some people, it’s really easy to get grades,” said Doege. “There could be people who didn’t get accepted who spent twice as much time studying.”  

Junior Julia Kim was also a candidate for NHS induction. One of the most impactful parts of the process of candidacy for NHS induction for Kim was community service. The community service project she undertook with her church, the Church of the Resurrection over the summer helped give her a better view of her community as a whole and the disadvantages some school districts experience, according to Kim. 

“We took a school in Missouri and we repainted the whole school, remodeled the whole school… and gave them new furniture,” said Kim. “[Schools in Missouri] don’t get a lot of resources compared to our schools, so it was cool to be able to help them get a new atmosphere in their school.”

For both Kim and Whitworth, induction to NHS had a lot of bonuses. According to Kim, the structure of becoming a candidate for NHS induction allowed her to gain a better view of her community. 

“Obviously, one of the benefits is that it looks super good on college resumes and stuff,” said Kim. “Another benefit is that it sort of forces you to go out into your community and get more involved with community service…which lets you see a broader picture of what’s going on inside your community.”