The National Honor Society chapter at Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, MD, feels like one big family. The same is true of our whole school, and especially the other student organizations and the science and technology program that I’m enrolled in. The teachers make everyone feel welcome, no matter your background, and the other students are like that, too.

The 70 or so students in NHS are very close knit. We help each other all the time, and we also like to plan events during the school year for Teacher Appreciation Week or Black History Month or other occasions. Last year, for example, we organized a teacher appreciation brunch. We spent all week preparing for it: We made cards, flyers, and posters to show our appreciation to the teachers when they came into the school, and we served them breakfast. Our individual members also do lots of service projects out in the community.

I was inducted into the chapter last year when I was a junior. I decided to join because I wanted to help set an example at our school and be a part of such a prestigious group and be able to show what good character is and what discipline is and what the core values of NHS are. I wanted to help make a difference in our school and our community, along with my peers who are part of it.

I think the chapter has an impact throughout the school and not just for our members. We all have friends who aren’t in NHS. We listen to their ideas about what they would like to see in our school community, and we bring those back to the group and we discuss them with our officers and our adviser, and then we see what we can do. It gives all the students a bigger voice.

The best thing about becoming part of NHS is definitely the feeling of having family at school and the lifelong friends I’ve made. I do think one of the perks of being a member is that colleges love to see that you’re well-rounded and that you’re making a difference in your school community with the service hours. But of course, we don’t just join to put it on our résumés.

If another student asked me why they should join NHS, I would tell them that if you’re very passionate about making a difference and advocating for what you believe is right and what you want to see in your community, this is a great organization. And it’s not just for your school community; you can be of service to the broader community, as well.

Learn more about NHS and how to start your own chapter.

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