Student essay, new to the nomination requirement

Reston, VA – To help students jump-start their higher education goals, the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) will recognize 500 middle level students with the NJHS Outstanding Achievement Award and a 529 college savings account valued at $500. NJHS advisers can submit nominations through February 25 for students who demonstrate the five pillars of excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, character, and citizenship.

The NJHS Outstanding Achievement Award, instituted in 2016, addresses the importance of early college planning. Research shows that students with at least $500 saved for education are three times more likely to enroll in college—and are four times more likely to graduate from college—than their counterparts with no college savings accounts.

“By awarding a college savings fund, NJHS aims to emphasize the importance of college aspirations for our student members,” said Nara Lee, director of National Honor Societies at the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), which founded and administers NJHS.

NASSP established NJHS in 1929, following its establishment of the National Honor Society in 1921, and is the nation’s premier organization recognizing outstanding middle level students.Today, it is estimated that more than 1 million students participate in official Honor Society activities. Membership not only recognizes students for their accomplishments, but challenges them to develop their leadership further through active involvement in school activities and community service.

New this year, students will be required to write and submit an essay on citizenship. The essay topic asks students: “What does good citizenship mean to you, and why is it important as a pillar of NJHS?” Students are asked to elaborate on the question and use examples from their personal lives or school experiences.

To provide additional details on the award criteria and changes to the 2019 NJHS Outstanding Achievement Award nomination process, NJHS will hold an informational webinar for advisers on Wednesday, January 16, 2019, at 2:30 p.m. (ET). NJHS advisers can visit to register for the webinar.

Recipients of the 2019 NJHS Outstanding Achievement Award will be announced in the spring. For more information on the NJHS Outstanding Achievement Award and to submit a nomination, please visit


The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and voice for principals and other school leaders across the United States. NASSP seeks to transform education through school leadership, recognizing that the fulfillment of each student’s potential relies on great leaders in every school committed to the success of each student. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor SocietyNational Junior Honor SocietyNational Elementary Honor Society, and National Student Council.