By Ashley Sorsby, NHS President, Grade 12
The National Honor Society is an international premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students. Our branch of this society, known as the Aztec Chapter, currently has 23 members from grades 11 and 12. These students were voted in by a panel of teachers who recognized their outstanding character, leadership, service and lastly scholarship. This may sound like a group of people who have impressive grades and do community service, but in reality, this society goes way beyond those requirements.
People may wonder, what does a NHS member have that makes him or her so special? It is definitely not an easy question to answer, but throughout any member’s journey inside the society, each one of us comes to realize what makes us so unique. Members focus on helping others, from making time to visit children with cancer to helping organize swimming competitions with the Special Olympics Committee. We strive to be leaders in our community, in the classroom and different clubs and sports teams we belong to.
As members of the National Honor Society, we follow a code and abide to four pillars already mentioned: scholarship, leadership, character and service. Each and one of these pillars make the four of them work in unison to form a well-rounded moral individual. Many people may not know they belong to these pillars, some may belong to one, two, three or even the four of them like members of the society. The society’s mission is not to strictly assess whether members have these characteristics or not, but work as a team to use them into bigger projects within and outside of our school community.
This society has different projects throughout the year and members are required to complete community service hours individually as well as in group. Many people are not completely sure what this means since it is an inside requirement that we as members need to complete, basically, it is our job as members.
Individual hours are the hours that each individual spends helping in any way, people from the ASF community or outside of it. Members volunteer with Gamma, work at orphanages, help build houses with Brick-by-Brick, give school tours as student ambassadors, sing in the reception of the ABC hospital. Many of us have learned about service through our parents. For example, my parents, who both are doctors, travel three hours outside the city to a very little developed village. They do so to offer their services, but with barely any charge. People from the outsides of the city go every Sunday to this public hospital where my parents offer their services with hope. Throughout the years, I have learned immensely from this act of my parents. As a member of NHS, I go many Sundays a year to help people, to give hope to those who have lost it. Other members have similar stories regarding that growth of value and understanding of our privileges as well as the use we can make of them. This is only one story of several of the members.
Members of the society have the ability to deliver hope to people and even more if they pursue it. Our group projects range from going to Casa de la Amistad twice a month if possible. Casa de la Amistad is a home that shelters children from all around Mexico who sadly have cancer and are not able to pay for hotel rooms and expenses when they come to the city for treatment. These little humans fighting for their lives, unfortunately, many times get behind in school; this is where we come in. As students of The American School Foundation, we use our education to make lesson plans for these children and go to Casa de la Amistad to teach them and try to catch up with school.
Casa de la Amistad is not only teaching these kids, but opening our hearts and souls to those who are not as privileged and appreciate every day in our lives. I have personally attended Casa de la Amistad for two years now and the love for these children has grown exponentially. Coming back to familiar faces, ready to learn, eager to survive, has had one of the greatest impacts I have ever experienced in my life. Majo, a 15-year-old girl has been constantly attending our classes with such enthusiasm that makes me even more excited to plan the next lesson.
These children fighting to survive and catch up with school at the same time makes me wonder: What did I do to deserve a life like mine? I have not yet reached an answer, but until I do, I am willing to use every privilege to help those who believe colors are blobs, those who are not certain if they will survive another week, those who believe that just for being old, they will never see again. Not only am I willing to do so, but all members of our society because this is what NHS means.
Individual hours and group tours are just there for a guideline, but members of NHS have it in their hearts. They have that sensibility to help others, to teach children from public schools around campus every Tuesday, to perform and sing for children with cancer in a hospital, to open their hearts and share that hope others may lack. Other members fulfill these hours in different and creative ways. Some of the members are part of groups where they build houses for people that live in poor conditions “Brick by Brick,” and others participate in fundraisers for clubs like MUN and Activism Through Art.
Another activity we perform as a group off campus is visiting Comedor Santa Mara: a public kitchen that serves food to children and parents who struggle. Comedor Santa Mara has its values since they require children to have good grades and attend a values lesson as well as parents in order to enter. As members of NHS we help Comedor Santa Mara to attend these children and parents, by cleaning the kitchen and even helping the cooks to cut vegetables. NHS not only focuses on helping our community as ASF, but strives to help those outside.
Everyone can use their privileges to help others and spread the hope missing within our community. We also serve the ASF community by helping to plan the Toy Drive, working at
Graduation and Back to School Night and we even bake cookies for teachers to show them that we appreciate them. NHS is a society where we are not afraid to be sensible, to be frustrated, stressed and cope with our lives and help others along the way. As NHS President, I am proud of what this society has become and how our members have grown into sensitive individuals, eager to help anyone who might need it even tutoring younger children in our own campus. I am proud and confident with what NHS stands for and I’m hopeful that future members will have the same drive we do now.