NJHS Leads By Example

by Samantha Daugherty and Emily Dottle

On April 8th, National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) inducted 19 new members.  Current members and new inductees, along with their families, enjoyed an in-person ceremony that focused on the organization’s pillars of scholarship, leadership, service, character, and citizenship.

To become a member of NJHS, students must have a 7th grade 94% final grade average or an 8th grade 93% final grade average.  The faculty council assesses each student’s leadership, citizenship, character, and service, and then votes on membership. To maintain membership, students must exhibit continued good grades, community service hours, and uphold the principles of the organization.

The ceremony started with Cameron Sickafuse giving a speech and lighting the first candle of scholarship. ¨Scholarship is defined as a fund of knowledge and learning. It’s a commitment to one’s own education and academics,¨ Cameron said.  

This continued with Maria Bryant lighting the candle that embodies leadership and growth. “The price of leadership is sacrifice,” Maria noted, “a willingness to yield one’s own personal interest for the interest of others, and a willingness to give up one’s own time and personal preferences for the sake of others.” 

Gennaro Leitera focused on the pillar of service.  He explained this candle as “the striving and laboring for the benefit of others.”  Members of NJHS constantly strive to put others before their own pleasure.

Sam Myers lit a candle representing character. NJHS members are shown to have strong moral character. They keep their mind open wide to new ideas.  Sam noted that while grades are important, “it is the way we act that is what earns us respect from our peers and our teachers as well as the choices we make, like helping others, being kind, and giving our best effort in every aspect of life.”

Finally, the last candle, citizenship, was lit by Ian Brown. Being a good citizen is unconsciously doing this in all aspects of life. “Citizenship is about more than just the individual. It is about functioning as a productive member of society.” Ian continued, “In order to do this, one must go out there and offer help to those who need it.” 

NJHS members recognize the honor that they’ve earned.  “My favorite part of the ceremony was blowing out the candle,” Ariyana Kendall recalled. “It felt like an accomplishment because blowing the candle out was like blowing away all the stress I went through to achieve this honor.” 

Other students recognize what it takes to be inducted. “Being in NJHS is an honor because it means that I have impressed my teachers and myself. I have pushed myself to the lengths of my intelligence and beyond, and I have improved my leadership skills along the way,” Lindsey D’Angelo said. 

“It is an honor because others can respect you as a great student and it is a representation of your actions towards other students and people in general,” Ben Santangelo noted. 

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