National Honor Society is a member of the Character Counts! Coalition. Through this activity, the society supports and recommends the use of a multi-faceted definition of character known as the “Six Pillars of Character.” A person of character demonstrates the following six qualities: respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, caring, and citizenship. Schools are encouraged to take this model, modify it to meet their local needs, and utilize it frequently in the work of their chapter.
In addition, it can also be said that the student of character:
· Takes criticism willingly and accepts recommendations graciously
· Consistently exemplifies desirable qualities of behavior (cheerfulness, friendliness, poise, stability)
· Upholds principles of morality and ethics
· Cooperates by complying with school regulations concerning property, programs, office, halls, etc.
· Demonstrates the highest standards of honesty and reliability
· Regularly shows courtesy, concern, and respect for others
· Observes instructions and rules, is punctual, and faithful both inside and outside the classroom
· Has powers of concentration, self-discipline, and sustained attention as shown by perseverance and application to studies
· Manifests truthfulness in acknowledging obedience to rules, avoiding cheating in written work, and showing unwillingness to profit by the mistakes of others
· Actively helps rid the school of bad influences or environment.
Service is generally considered to be those actions taken by the student which are done with or on behalf of others without any direct financial or material compensation to the individual performing the service. In considering service, the contributions this candidate has made to school, classmates, and community, as well as the student’s attitude toward service can be reviewed.
The student who serves:
· Volunteers and provides dependable and well organized assistance, is gladly available, and is willing to sacrifice to offer assistance
· Works well with others and is willing to take on difficult or inconspicuous responsibilities
· Cheerfully and enthusiastically renders any requested service to the school
· Is willing to represent the class or school in inter-class and inter-scholastic competition
· Does committee and staff work without complaint
· Participates in some activity outside of school- for example: Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, church groups, volunteer services for the elderly, poor, or disadvantaged
· Mentors persons in the community or students at other schools
· Shows courtesy by assisting visitors, teachers, and students.
The leadership criterion is considered highly important for membership selection. Some Faculty Councils may wish to interpret leadership in terms of the number of offices held in school or community organizations. It is important to recognize that leadership also exists outside elected positions including effective participation in other cocurricular activities offered on campus. Other Faculty Councils may define leadership in less objective terms. Leadership roles in both the school and community may be considered, provided they can be verified.
The student who exercises leadership:
Winter 2010 Table of Contents
Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)
By Gabriel Cazares, High School Senior, Houston, TX
Abstract: A high school student with a visual impairment applies to become a member of the National Honor Society. He gives his motivation for wanting to become a member and the contributions he will make as a member of NHS.
Keywords: blind, visual impairment, glaucoma, National Honor Society
Editor’s note: Gabriel lives in Houston with his mom, dad, and two brothers. All the males have glaucoma. He participated in the school district’s choir programs until he fell in love with debate. He has been vice president of the debate team for 3 years. He holds leadership positions with the National Youth Leadership Network, the National Kids As Self-Advocates, and with his church youth group.
Often times people make erroneous assumptions when it comes to an individual with a disability. Our modern culture has portrayed negative images of people with disabilities. The world thinks that because someone is impaired they have to lower their standards and expectations in order for the individual to meet them. I, as a student with a visual impairment, feel insulted by this. One who is disabled can perform equally with their peers if they have the right skills, motivation, and determination to do so. One thing that sets me aside from the rest is the fact that I don’t ever take “NO” for an answer. If something doesn’t work the first time, I reconsider my situation, and think of other ways to approach the same problem until I come up with the best solution.
My biggest contribution to the Northbrook High School chapter of the National Honor Society is proving wrong stereotypical points of view that people may have about me. Even some of my fellow peers that have been with me since elementary school sometimes think that just because I’m blind things are handed to me on a silver platter. Even though I wish this was true, it is not. I have to work just as hard, and sometimes even harder than they do to achieve my goals. By becoming a member of the National Honor Society I will prove to everyone that just because I’m blind doesn’t mean that I don’t have the same potential to be as successful as everyone else.
Another fact that has motivated me to apply to be a member of the National Honor Society is to promote academic achievement throughout our school. Many students come in with the mentality that Northbrook is a school where academic achievement is not stressed. However, what I have learned through my four year journey on our campus is that school is only as good or as bad as you choose to make it. From my perspective those who want to better themselves have all the opportunities to do so in our school.
The final and most personal reason I would like to join the NHS is to show my younger brother that anything is achievable if you try hard enough. Coming from a Mexican/American background where all my siblings were on different academic levels, reaching a distinction like the National Honor Society is a significant accomplishment. I have people that I have admired for their tireless efforts to better themselves, and I would like to be the same for others. I may not be the smartest, the most talented, or the most popular; but whatever I do, I do it to the best of my ability. As an Honor Society member proving wrong stereotypical views, promoting academic achievement, and being a role model for my siblings and whoever else may be watching, are the three biggest contributions I can bring to the organization.