The stakes are high but the rewards are life changing!

The National Junior Honor Society qualifications are very rigorous, but the rewards are life changing. In order for students to meet the first criterion of being an Honor Society candidate, he/she must have an overall GPA of a 94/A. Then each student must fill out an application of their school history, write an essay, and pass a teacher background check in order to be inducted. After all that is over, the student then must work 8 hours of community service, stay clear of any school infractions, keep GPA over 94, and help raise money for a school charity. These are many responsibilities put on a 13-14 year old; however, these students are up to the task and even consider it a challenge. The students will be rewarded at the end of the year for all their hard work with a field trip and luncheon. However, rewards of be in the National Junior Honor Society is more intrinsic than extrinsic. For example, this year we raised several hundred dollars for the charity called Healing Hearts Child Advocacy Center.

Healing Hearts Child Advocacy Center staff has established a closet that provides vital necessities for children removed from unsafe environments by Desoto and Tate County’s Child Protection Services.  There are no resources available for children in the first week after being moved to a safe location. They are filling that need by providing the necessities for children ages newborn-17 years old who are in crisis.

Helping people is just one of the National Junior Honor Society’s five standards we follow. This standard is known as service. Service can be established in the routine of the day’s work where many opportunities arise to help others both at school and in the community.  A willingness to work for the benefit of those in need, without monetary compensation or public recognition, is the quality we seek in our membership and promote for the entire student body.  We are committed to volunteering our time and talents to the creation of a better tomorrow.

Another standard is leadership. Leadership should exert a wholesome influence on the school.  In taking initiative in the classroom and in school activities, the real leader strives to train and aid others to reach their common goals of success.  The price of leadership is sacrifice—the willingness to yield one’s personal interests for the interests of others.  A leader is one who has self-confidence and will go forward when others hesitate.  No matter what power and resources may exist in a school, community, or nation, they are ineffectual without the guidance of a wise leader.  Leadership is always needed; thus, to lead is a meaningful and substantive charge to each of our members.

The third standard is character. Character is the force within the individual that distinguishes each person from others.  It creates for each of us our individuality, our goodness.  It is that without which no one can respect oneself, nor hope to attain the respect of others.  It is this force of Character that guides one through life and, once developed, grows steadily within.  Character is achieved and not received.  It is the product of constant thought and action, the daily striving to make the right choice.  The problem of Character is the problem of self-control.  We must be in reality what we wish to appear to others—to be rather than seem.  By demonstrating such qualities as respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, caring, and citizenship, we may hope to prove by example that we value Character.

The fourth standard is citizenship. The student who demonstrates citizenship understands the importance of civic involvement, has a high regard for freedom, justice, and democracy, and demonstrates mature participation and responsibility through involvement with such activities as scouting, community organizations, and school clubs. Citizenship is the character and behavior of an individual as viewed as a member of our school.

The last standard is scholarship. Scholarship denotes a commitment to learning.  A student is willing to spend hours in reading and study, knowing the lasting benefits of a cultivated mind.  We should continue to learn even when formal education has ended, for human education ends only with the end of life.  Knowledge is one great element in life, which leads to the highest success and it can be acquired in only one way—through diligence and effort.  Learning furnishes the lamp by which we read the past, the torch guiding us to understand the present and the light that illuminates the future.  Candidates have the charge to continually expand their world through the opportunities inherent in scholarship.

In conclusion, The National Junior Honor Society not only strives to make themselves better, but the school and the world better also. This blog is in honor of all those Honor Society members who perform so many duties without recognition or credit—instead just out of the goodness of their own heart.

Mr. Wiltshire – 7th Grade Science

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