Encouraged by family, GISH student joins NHS

By Jackie Ruiz, Editor

Junior Brityn Zelasney is a new member of the National Honors Society.

         Junior Brityn Zelasney said she submitted her application to Senior High’s National Honor Society (NHS) after her grandmother showed support and encouraged her to join.

         “My grandma was scrolling through Facebook and came across an organization called NHS. She told me that they did a lot of volunteer work and that’s something that she’s always wanted for me,” Zelasney said.

         Zelasney added that she did further research on the group and became really interested in it. 

         “I remember reading about them online and going straight home after they sent me an invitation. I wrote my essay in two hours and included the four pillars that they strive to be,” she said.

         NHS is an academic organization that takes into account a student’s GPA and other academic achievements. Service and leadership are two main areas that the organization looks into when choosing new members.

         “We try to make sure that these students are the ones that you would go to in a school for help. We make sure that they are involved in their community and are trying to find ways to support their community,” said Ashley Shultz, NHS’s sponsor.

         Shultz was approved to be the new sponsor of NHS last year in 2022.

         “The previous sponsor was also involved in the Student Council. Both of these organizations take up a lot of time and she wanted to focus on one organization, so I was approached as a potential candidate for NHS,” she said.

Students sign their name and receive a certificate as they become new members.

         The class of 2023 has 52 members in NHS. The Class of 2024 has around 90 members. In the past, numbers have ranged from 70-80, so 52 is a relatively small number, and 90 is a large number.

         The members of the class of 2024 were inducted February 20 and became official members of NHS. 

         “It was a big honor to have been inducted, but the induction ceremony was still really nerve-wracking. We did a practice run that morning, but we didn’t have any idea of what it would actually look like. We got on stage and there were so many people, but it turned out to be pretty great,” Zalasney said.

         Zelasney added that she is really excited to start volunteering and helping people. She would like to become a nurse in the future and said that NHS is an opportunity that will help her reach this goal.

         “I love helping people who need it; that’s the main reason behind me wanting to be in NHS,” she said.

         Shultz added that she believes that this is a great chance for students to see how much of a need there is in the community.

         Members meet once a month at Senior High to reflect on their volunteering experiences and make progress on their Individual Service Projects (ISPs). 

         ISPs are projects that students work on to better their community. They find a need in the school or community that they are interested in and find a way to better that need. Each student is required to complete one ISP.

Current NHS officers stand on stage to help induct the class of 2024.

          “We’ve seen students who’ve helped host extra blood drives and worked with elementary students. Other members have done intramural activities where they fundraise canned donations for food banks,” Shultz said.

         Shultz added that NHS helps students to think beyond themselves.

         “I am just blown away with the number of students we have that go above and beyond. 52 students are each doing 20 hours of community service, which is a lot,” she said. “Students who are usually in NHS are also involved in other activities, so for students to take time out of their day to volunteer amazes me.”

         She added that she would like to see NHS members do more for the school, since they are more visible to their community partners than the student body at GISH.

         “I’ve sent tons of emails to organizations to let them know that we’re here and available. We want our students to experience opportunities beyond themselves, especially as they get ready to go to college.”

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