The standards for entrance into the National Honor Society are scholarship, leadership, character, and service. Through this paper I will strive to prove that I possess all of these qualities, and moreover, that I am qualified for entrance into an organization as prestigious as the National Honor Society. Over the past four years as a scholar, I believe that I have demonstrated all of these characteristics.

That I have the scholarly ability required to be a NHS member is indicated simply by the fact that I was nominated for entrance into the NHS in the first place, though since I get the impression that more than this is required, I will point out that I have consistently made the honor roll every quarter during my years in both High- and Middle-school. Also, my involvement in the school’s “Jets TEAMS” (Test of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science) team during my Junior year functions as an indicator of my scholarship.

Jets TEAMS is an intense, annual competition in which schools send 8 of their strongest students to compete against other schools in a nationwide contest. During my Junior year I was fortunate enough to be selected as one of the eight students (only 3 of whom were Juniors) who would go to the competition, and through our team’s efforts, we were able to come in first in the state of Connecticut, earning recognition not just for ourselves, but for the town of Granby as well. Through my involvement in Jets TEAMS and my solid academic record, I feel that I have demonstrated the scholarship required for entrance into the National Honor Society.

It is difficult to narrow things down to a single situation in which I have demonstrated leadership qualities to the extent that is required for entrance into the NHS, but for the purposes of this paper (and the sake of brevity), I will focus on my past involvement in the “People to People: Student Ambassador Program.” People to People is a nationally recognized organization which sends groups of American students to foreign countries where they can learn about another culture by experiencing it firsthand. Their itinerary also stresses the development of leadership skills and the importance of teamwork.

Through my involvement in this program, aside from learning a lot about a foreign culture (I traveled to Australia for 3 weeks), I also learned a great deal about the responsibilities and obligations that go along with being a leader. Shortly after the start of the trip, I was nominated to be one of three “Student Delegation Leaders.” As a delegation leader it was my job to help organize group activities and meetings, as well as to find and help resolve any conflicts between individual delegation members.

Through my time spent as a delegation leader, I learned a lot about the compromise, fairness, and responsibility that are required if one is be a “good” leader of others. I often found myself having to sacrifice my own free time and personal desires for the benefit of the group. This, I believe, is the most important part of being a leader, the ability to sacrifice some of the things you want for the overall gain of the people that you are leading. I have also learned a lot about the role a leader must play in group/team dynamics through my involvement in the Granby Tennis Team. I won’t elaborate on this point, however, as this paragraph is already becoming monstrous in scope.

Service is the quality of NHS members which I have the hardest time finding an example for. I have never been involved in community service in the “traditional” sense. I have, however, acted as web-master of a fairly popular website of my own creation in the past, and many parallels can be drawn between this and community service. The website that I had (during my Junior year) was entitled “Definitive MP3,” and it contained general as well as in depth technical information on Digital Audio (MP3), related software programs which visitors could download, and a section where people could find technical support for the software programs.

I myself would be online for several hours each day to personally answer and address specific questions and concerns that my visitors had regarding Digital Audio, the software programs, or life in general. Maintaining and operating the website and its HTML code also took a couple hours of my daily time as well, and all this was done for no compensation whatsoever. I did not profit or benefit from my website in any way other than the sense of personal satisfaction that I got from helping others and from their frequent praise of the site. This can be likened to community service because I gave up a good deal of my time and effort for no reason other than the benefit and enjoyment of other people.

The only real difference that exists is that rather than benefiting the immediate community of Granby, I benefited a larger (the site reached close to 30,000 hits over its 9 month life-span), more dispersed community through the Internet. I think, however, that what is more important than what the actual community service is, is what the participant takes away from it.

From the days, weeks, and months that I spent maintaining my website and personally helping others, I realized that I really do enjoy helping other people, as well as giving up a portion of my free time simply for the benefit of others. I think that this is why service is such an important part of becoming a NHS member, because without it, one would not know that there is a reward to be found in selflessly helping others, the reward of personal satisfaction, of knowing that you did something good for no purpose other than the sake of doing something good.

By this point in my paper, I would think that I have already demonstrated that I possess sufficient character to become a member of the National Honor Society (and I would also like to thank the reader for having the tenacity to make it this far). My involvement with People to People has taught me such traits as personal responsibility and integrity, through Jets TEAMS and my participation on the Granby Tennis Team I have learned about the importance of teamwork and group dynamics, and by being a web-master for a completely non-profit website, I have learned how to be self-sacrificing, and about how rewarding this can be. I would hope that all these instances have already been elaborated upon completely enough in the previous paragraphs that I do not need to do so again. If this is not the case then maybe I really do not have what it takes to become a member of the NHS.

I believe that by now I have demonstrated that I posses the qualities of scholarship, leadership, character, and service. I also feel that if I am fortunate enough to earn inclusion in the NHS, that I would do nothing detract from the prestige and respectability that is associated with the National Honor Society. But ultimately that is a choice which is left up to you, the reader. Now that I have had my say, it is time for you to have yours…

None, though anyone who uses this might want to look out for reference that are too specific…town names and such.

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