–By Christy Jefrin James Chandrajith–

The National Honor Society is an international organization that recognizes and encourages outstanding high school students who demonstrate excellence within the four pillars of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. The RIS chapter of the Society has long since branched off into several committees that coordinate various activities and services that build into each other and even go beyond our school.

The HS and ES Capacities are dedicated to providing students in their respective sections with enlightening experiences. On November 28th, for example, the senior members of the NHS at RIS — the HS Capacity — held an advisory session in which each member discussed his or her personal experiences in the AP and IB programs, respectively. Mostly this discourse explored each program’s workload, how it determined or narrowed down their course selection, time management, and other such insightful questions. This was rounded off with a Q&A session in which the sophomores—the intended audience—were able to inquire more about the seniors’ perspectives and reflections on their choices. During exam week, they also held a “Cookie and Cram” session at Griffith Library where students were not only able to review for upcoming exams but also to relax. 

On the other hand, the ES Capacity’s “Tie-dye and Stress Ball” activities were far more hands-on and assisted their fellow committees more directly. They taught elementary students about the importance of teamwork, creativity, and service, but the stress balls were later donated to the HS Capacity to help high school students to cope with the stress of exams. I feel that despite their different actions, the result was the same; they both gave insightful exposure to life both outside and inside school. They got the ball rolling for NHS inter-section cooperation.

The Fundraising Committee used the ES Capacity’s stress balls and the HS Capacity’s cookies, as well as their own self-made charms, cards, and goodies, as care packages for stressed high school students during exam week. They also hosted the game Capture the Flag alongside a bake sale. The funds from both activities were donated to the Good Shepherd’s Orphanage, where another committee led efforts to establish and strengthen a productive relationship between RIS and the Good Shepherd’s Orphanage. The October trip to the Good Shepherd’s Orphanage consisted of three icebreaker activities (Virus, RedLight/GreenLight, and 007 Bang) and a holiday activity (reindeer doll decorations).

After all these efforts and hard work, the NHS—through the Appreciation Committee—dedicated themselves to a demonstration of their gratitude on International Thank You Day. They established a board of generic thank-you notes that students and teachers were able to take and relay to their peers. These notes were a beautiful expression of appreciation that circulated throughout our school—it was wonderful to see them fastened on people’s shirts, bags, water bottles, and other possessions.

This cycle of cooperation, led by the dedicated students of NHS, has not only inspired similar scholarship in others but has also stimulated leadership, service, and commitment in our student body. This cooperation continues to strengthen character in our school.