With a 47-year presence at McGregor School, the National Honor Society (NHS) has made a tremendous impact in the community. While students involved in NHS are often recognized for their academic achievements, it is their desire to serve that is so brightly reflected in the McGregor area.
Joining NHS at McGregor High School is no simple task. First, students must be in grades eight through 12 and have at least a 3.0 GPA in order to be eligible to apply. If they meet the GPA requirement, they may then fill out an application and send in letters of recommendation from people in the community and faculty members at the school.
The faculty then goes through all of the applications and letters and carefully evaluates each candidate’s character strengths and leadership abilities. The screening committee is then responsible for electing candidates they feel are qualified to join NHS.
“I look at the students involved in NHS as ambassadors for our school to the community,” said Lon Baumgardt, supervisor of the NHS organization at McGregor School. “NHS members do not just excel in the classroom. They each demonstrate a strong work ethic which is reflected in their service to the community.”
In addition to the requirements to join NHS, students must put in a significant amount of time serving the community. Eighth and ninth graders are required to put in 40 hours of community service during the year and tenth through twelfth graders must complete 60 hours.
With 21 members in NHS this year, this creates a large amount of time that is volunteered in the area. New members were recently elected for next year and there will be roughly the same number of students involved.
“When one puts all of these members’ volunteer service time together, there are literally hundreds of hours the organization is putting back into the community,” said Lon. “They are doing a great deal of work that needs to be done which might not get completed without their participation and help.”
National Honor Society members participate in a large variety of community service activities on both corporate and individual levels. Recent service projects include working at Wild Rice Days, working with Dollars for Scholars, helping with Kids Plus activities, volunteering to coach kids sports teams, teaching Sunday School, visiting nursing homes, and doing yard work for people who need assistance.
The money generated from some of the fundraising activities in which NHS participates goes back into the community to support various causes. One of the projects students raise money for is to buy Christmas stockings for children of disenfranchised families. Parents provide lists of what their children would like and then NHS members help by shopping for those items.
All of the work the students do is done as volunteers and they are not paid for their efforts. “I want to see us strengthen the tie between the school and the community,” said Lon. “The community has been very good to the school over the years and this is a way for us to give back.”
Being able to volunteer...
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