COVID-19 results in changes to National Honors Society

Coffee+House+Picture

Photo submitted by Marie Lecuyer

Last year’s Coffee House was a big hit for the community. This year, however, the event will be held virtually for the first time, and it will be interesting to see how the National Honors Society adapts to these changes.

The National Honors Society is a club dedicated to community service. Members of the NHS participate in many events that make the high school a better place. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of these opportunities will be altered, as person-to-person contact will not be allowed and social distancing must be enforced.

The NHS is a prestigious club which offers high ranked students the opportunity to participate within their community. The students dedicate time and effort to organize events such as fundraisers, blood drives, community events and more. 

“The purpose of the NHS is to honor students who have excelled in scholarship, leadership, service and character,” NHS advisor Becky Mazzara said.

The members live by these four pillars of scholarship, leadership, service and character and host numerous fundraisers and volunteer opportunities each year to help serve the community. 

The NHS requires all students to excel in school and in the community. Students are held to important requirements to ensure their commitment and dedication to school and the community is 100%.

 “To be in NHS, you have to first meet the minimum GPA requirement and then be accepted through the application process,” NHS Leader Annika Fredeen said. “Once you’re inducted, you stay in NHS by completing your 10 hours of service per semester, keeping your GPA up, and overall upholding the four pillars of NHS.”

Students are still expected to provide service and there have been lots of good ideas on how to do so safely.  The effectiveness of NHS will definitely not be altered.  It is our goal to continue providing the same high standards to our members and know that colleges are also taking into consideration the limitations that covid has put on all service clubs.”

— NHS Advisor Becky Mazarra

However, this year some of the NHS opportunities have either been cancelled, or moved to a virtual platform. With many limits set forth by the CDC, it is difficult to organize a large number of people to do volunteer opportunities. In continuing to serve the community, the NHS will continue to host these events, although they may be altered. 

“The Coffee House – our biggest fundraiser will have to be a creative virtual activity,” Mazarra explained. The Coffee House is an event put on by the NHS each year that allows students to showcase their musical skills in front of a live audience either as a solo or with a group. While many events are changing, it will be interesting to see the creativity that can be done by the NHS to make these virtual events exciting.

In addition to community events put on by the NHS, group meetings are also being altered. In addition to this, the requirements for community service is also being changed to help out members who do not feel comfortable volunteering in public yet.

“This year, we’re having our membership meetings online over Zoom, and they’re also less frequent than they used to be,” Freeden explained. “We’ve also adjusted our service hour policy to be more flexible for those who prefer to do their volunteering from home.”

According to the NHS website, volunteer opportunities students can do at home include: picking up trash around the community, making masks for those in need, hosting a clothing or food collection through drive up for Valley Outreach, or becoming a pen pal with a community member in a nursing home. 

Despite all of these restrictions, “The effectiveness of NHS will definitely not be altered,” Mazarra said.It is our goal to continue providing the same high standards to our members and know that colleges are also taking into consideration the limitations that covid has put on all service clubs.”