National Honors Society inducts nearly 200 juniors

Mahogany Thomas

Sponsor Travis Martin (left) and senior Taylor Buster packs up candles used during the induction ceremony. Photo by Daphne Yu
A total of 181 juniors were inducted into the National Honors Society, at Rock Bridge High School today, Thursday, May 3.
Welcomed into the club by current graduating seniors, the new inductees walked across the stage shaking principal Mark Maus’ hand and receiving their certificate.
The first step of the process was receiving a letter to inform the juniors they were qualified to join; students who wanted to participate then filled out a resume-based application that would later be one of the determining factors in whether or not they were accepted.
In addition to the application process, juniors were expected to keep a 3.5 cumulative GPA, take at least one honors or advanced placement class and participate in both community and school extracurricular activities.
Junior Hyelee Won, a newly inducted member, said she felt walking across the stage provided an extra boost of confidence at the end of such a challenging year. With the school year winding down, Won said she has felt the pressure to succeed, especially this semester, with testing for advanced placement classes around the corner.
“I’m really excited to finally be a member of NHS,” Won said. “My friends and I both have anticipated this day.”
For Won, the excitement that comes along with the NHS membership is great, but knowing that she qualified provides an even bigger sense of happiness. While continuously studying and doing homework to keep her grades up is sometimes a challenge, Won said meeting the requirements for NHS makes her efforts worth it.
“I feel like being inducted really was a great way to recognize all of my hard work,” Won said. The recognition “then gives us such a sense of accomplishment knowing our hard work didn’t go to waste.”
Won said, she is looking forward to her senior year and participating in all of the volunteer activities that come along with NHS membership. Having heard nothing but positive things about the fun from volunteering and serving RBHS from the graduating class of 2012, Won cannot wait until it is her turn.
Senior Lela Prichett, an NHS member, understands Won’s excitement because she said she looks back on the year in complete satisfaction. Prichett, who will attend Washington University, in St. Louis, Mo in the fall, said being a part of the honor society was something special.
“NHS was a great experience for me,” Prichett said. “I met new people and got to participate in activities that I plan to continue beyond this year. [New inductees will] absolutely love this experience.”
Engaging in all types of community projects from the Central Missouri Food Bank to Rainbow House,  NHS serves as a model for students at RBHS, Maus said of the organization that has existed here since 1974.
“NHS, RBRO, Student Council, MAC Scholars shows how Rock Bridge really wants kids involved,” Maus said. “And this is one more tool for kids to get involved and it really represents a tremendous amount of work by our students and it’s a great way to recognize their amazing achievements they’ve had up to this point.”
Such involvement is exactly what inductees like Won looks forward to. Won said her membership is more than just something to put on a resume. She hopes to make an impact in her school.
“Next year is going to be really fun. I’m looking forward to it,” Won said. “I hope to be able to spend a lot of time volunteering together with my friends. Volunteering alone is kind of lonely, and that’s what usually happens unless there’s an organization like this that gets everyone to do it.  
As students like Won await next year for a chance to meet new people and build relationships, Maus wants members to become a model for all students. He said he wants students to enjoy their high school experience and engage in extracurricular activities. 
“I wish every one of our students in every class was eligible,” Maus said. However, Rock Bridge has “such high numbers because we have great students and great teachers pushing them and having high expectations, and our students meeting those expectations again and again and again; and they even go beyond what we expect of them.”
By Mahogany Thomas