Student Voice

Creating a Better Culture: Why I Became an Adviser

Our chapter had tremendous potential, and it was time to realize it

My school opened in the 1960s, and it has always had a National Honor Society (NHS) chapter. At first it was great, but over the years it began to decline; it was a disorganized group and the bylaws weren’t strong enough. I became the new adviser because I wanted to turn it back into what it should be. Now, the students truly see the value in the leadership opportunities they get by participating. Incoming freshmen are even beginning to ask how they can get into NHS, and that hasn’t always been a question on their minds. (more…)

Out of the School and Into the Community: Why I Became an Adviser

Guest post by Natasha Schaefer, NHS adviser at Woodcreek High School in Roseville, CA. 

When I opened my inbox to find an email from my vice principal, I was relieved that it wasn’t about an upset parent or other administrative tasks. Instead, it was calling for volunteers. Our National Honor Society (NHS) adviser had moved to another school, and the position needed to be filled. While I normally worked with lower-achieving students—a satisfying duty in its own right—I decided I wanted to get to know the kids on the other end of the spectrum. (more…)

Global Change Through Local Action: Why I Became an Adviser

My students fell in love with serving their local community and it made them part of something much bigger.

When the National Honor Society (NHS) adviser at my school retired after 15 years, she turned to me with the request that I lead her NHS students. She admitted it would take a ton of time and even more energy, but that it would be the most rewarding job of my life.

She was right. (more…)

A Place to Belong: Why I Became an Adviser

Celebrating scholarship is just as important as any other school club, and NJHS provides that space.

Twenty-one years ago, my principal asked me to advise the current National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) chapter at my middle school. I had never done it before, and it was trial by fire—luckily I was able to attend a workshop and found great resources to get me started. (more…)

Carrying on the Tradition: Why I Became an Adviser

I knew the importance of NHS from my days as a student, and participating as an adviser is even more rewarding.

When I first came to my high school, I was asked to be a National Honor Society (NHS) adviser. I jumped at the chance, as I remembered being an NHS member myself and how it connected me to the community. I knew I wanted to make an impact with our chapter and put us on the map in our school—many of the students didn’t know what NHS was, let alone want to join. Now, 12 years later, we’re ingrained in our school’s culture, and younger students aspire to become members. (more…)

In Times of Crisis: Why I Became an Adviser

No one could have foreseen our frightening circumstances, but having an NHS chapter made all the difference.

I have been a National Honor Society (NHS) adviser for three years. Actually, it’s more accurate to say that I have been the sole adviser for that long—I had previously been co-advising our chapter with my wife for some time after the former advisers stepped down. In that time, we have grown to a 160-member group out of 2,100 students; we are one of the largest high schools in our semi-rural area. When disaster struck on April 20, 2018, we needed the support of all 160 members. (more…)

A Big Impact on a Small School: Why I Became an Adviser

The Honor Societies are the best way for a student population of any size to learn how to connect with its community.

I was given the opportunity to take over the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) chapter at my school when the previous adviser had to go on maternity leave. That was 14 years ago, and I’m so glad I stepped into her shoes.

My members of NJHS are the cream of the crop; they are amazing. I feel so lucky to get to work with them and guide them in their leadership development. I try to promote good morals, and we focus on good communications skills and a sense of responsibility. Our chapter works to spread these values throughout the school. (more…)

The Art of Giving (and Receiving): Why I Became an Adviser

Through NHS, my students learned that the more you give to the world, the more you get back.

By teaching upper level students, I’m able to get to know them inside the classroom. When the chance came for me to work with them outside the classroom as a National Honor Society (NHS) adviser, it was a no-brainer. (more…)

School Safety Advocacy From a Student’s Perspective

Following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, which claimed the lives of 17 students and educators, advocates around the country organized a national movement demanding change to better protect our schools and communities from gun violence. Leading that movement are student survivors of the shooting joined by thousands of young people across the country.

The NASSP Student Leadership Advisory Committee joined those efforts, organizing advocacy events and actions to honor the lives of the Stoneman Douglas victims and to call for policy change. Here are testimonials about that advocacy from one of the students on the committee and one of the committee’s adult advisers: (more…)

G.R.O.W. Into Leadership

Guest post by Omékongo Dibinga

“Leadership ain’t for the lame, don’t take it in vain
Time to rethink your position, understand why you came.”

I often recite these two lines from a poem I wrote on leadership when I speak to student leaders around the world. I share this quote to underscore two points: First, leadership is not for everyone. Though everyone can be a leader, leadership is a calling that few people answer and, therefore, it must be carefully considered. Second, leaders must always be thinking about why they chose to be a leader, and whether they still have the capacity or even the desire to lead.

(more…)