Commitment to Serve

Commitment to Serve

Ian Pigors and Thomas Whalen

Immense academic pressure. Cut throat competitiveness. Trying to fight and claw to get prestigious scholarships. These can be common experiences of many high-achieving students. For members of the National Honor Society (NHS), these statements often ring true. The requirements for being involved in this esteemed group include a 3.95 GPA, fewer than eight absences a year, and no disciplinary infractions. The leaders of this group? Even higher standards. The Honor Society’s leadership group represents some of NHS’ best students, but for this group of seniors, it’s not just about the high academic prestige — it’s about leaving a lasting impact on the community as they prepare for graduation.

Senior Luke Shinneman joined the group to help develop and enhance his management skills as well as increase his involvement as a student.

“I knew a few people that [had] previously been on the leadership team, and it was a great opportunity for me to get more involved and to develop my leadership skills in my final year of high school.” Shinneman said. 

According to Shinneman, National Honor Society exists to provide students an opportunity for  engagement and service and to be a role model in the community, 

“The mission of the National Honor Society is to fulfill a commitment to scholarship, service, leadership, and character. The group achieves this by maintaining excellent academics, getting involved in the community through tutoring and service, and modeling a positive example for other NHS students.” Shinneman said.

Through these service activities, the National Honor Society’s leadership group has embarked on a variety of projects throughout this school year. From partnering with local food pantries, renovating school courtyards, and working with local businesses and government to give back to their community, the leadership group has done their more than their fair share of volunteering in Noblesville.

For Peytyn Brooks, a senior who plans to attend the Rose Hulman Institute of Technology this fall to study engineering, the Honors Society’s leadership group presented a great opportunity for her to get involved in the ways she feels best help and positively impact those in need in her community, 

“I joined [National Honor Society] because I wanted to help others and make a good impact on the community. My group and I volunteer at Grace Church Food Pantry to help people in need or who are struggling financially,” Brooks said. 

Brooks said she has volunteered in the past, but joining the National Honor Society and the leadership group created more opportunities for her and the ability to make a difference in the community.

“I haven’t been involved in much in the past. The most I’ve done is volunteer work here and there. It makes me feel good to make a positive impact in my community.” Brooks said. 

Shinneman joined not only to enhance his leadership skills and involvement. He also had an idea for a project he wanted to work on: helping renovate the school’s courtyards. 

“I’ve had the opportunity to lead a group of members in an independent service project where we chose to clean, landscape, and replant the school courtyard behind the world language hallway,” Shinneman said. “If you take a look at it now, you’ll see it [has] been completely changed with new trees, benches, and flower boxes.” Shinneman continued.

For students hoping to get involved with the leadership group and National Honor Society, Brooks explains that the important factor to consider is making the most of your time volunteering, to think about the impact you’re having and surround yourself with supportive people who make your goals important

“Make the most of volunteering. Don’t think of it as something you have to do or something that’s just getting your hours in,” Brooks said, “Personally, the group I have, and the people I volunteer under, have been so understanding and helpful and nice. It’s incredibly important to surround yourself with people who support you and what you want to do,” Brooks added. 

Next year, the leadership group is losing all nine members to graduation. With these departures, the group will be in need of a new group of NHS students to step up and fill their roles next year. While it is a commitment, Shinneman believes that the opportunity to be involved in such a group is well worth it.

“If you have the chance to join either the National Honor Society or the leadership team, take advantage of it. It’s certainly true that you can get out of it just as much as you put into it,” Shinneman said.