South Amherst Middle School began a National Junior Honor Society in 2016.
Five main purposes have guided chapters of NJHS from the beginning: to create enthusiasm for scholarship; to stimulate a desire to render service; to promote leadership; to encourage responsible citizenship; and to develop character in the students of secondary schools. These purposes also translate into the criteria used for membership selection in each local chapter.
Each chapter is required to publish its qualifications for membership, which is based on the five pillars of NJHS:
· S Scholarship Students must have made Honor Roll 1st and 2nd semester of the school year,
· S Service This involves voluntary contributions made by a student to the school or community, done without compensation.
· L Leadership Student leaders are those who are resourceful, good problem solvers, and idea contributors. Leadership experiences can be drawn from school or community activities while working with or for others.
· C Character The student of good character is cooperative; demonstrates high standards of honesty and reliability; shows courtesy, concern, and respect for others; and generally maintains a clean disciplinary record.
· C Citizenship The student who demonstrates citizenship understands the importance of civic engagement; has a high regard for freedom and justice; respects the U.S. form of government (a representative democracy); respects the law for all citizens at the local, state, and federal levels; and demonstrates mature participation and responsibility in activities such as scouting, community organizations, or school clubs.
Students who meet the scholarship requirement will have an opportunity to complete a form detailing their accomplishments in and commitment to service, leadership, character, and citizenship. Students are also required to compose an essay stating why they should be considered for membership.
The National Junior Honor Society is the nation's premier organization established to recognize outstanding middle level students. More than just an honor roll, NJHS serves to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, character, and citizenship. These characteristics have been associated with membership in the organization since its beginning in 1929.
Today, it is estimated that more than one million students participate in official Honor Society activities. NHS and NJHS chapters are found in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, many U.S. territories, and Canada. Chapter membership not only recognizes students for their accomplishments, but challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service.