This issue of Participation Station is all about social media. In today’s day and age, social media is everywhere. It isn’t just for personal use anymore; it’s for advertising, entertainment, education—you name it, there is something about it on social media. As student leaders, it’s important to use your social media accounts to share the great things you’re doing in your chapters and councils. From what you’re currently doing in your schools to prepping for college to getting a job, social media plays a role. Keep your eyes peeled in this edition of #ParticipationStation for how you can use social media now and in the future to build your leadership skills and grow your personal “brand.”

Using Twitter for Social Good

Students from Arroyo High School and Mountain View High School, both in El Monte, CA, decided to put their social media skills to good use and start a Twitter Party to raise awareness for teen dating abuse. The students did their research and found that young women ages 16-24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner abuse (almost triple the national average), according to a study by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. This led students to think creatively about how to raise awareness, and they came up with the #LoveIsRespectEM project. The product of a larger project, Youth Voices’ Media Literacy and the Civic Journalism Community Initiative, students took to Twitter to engage their fellow students and community in their campaign. All questions crafted for the Twitter Party were created to raise awareness and provide resources in their community. The party saw great engagement and resulted in an abundance of information shared about teen dating and abuse.

Are You Following Us?

Well, you should be! We post about everything from college prep tips to photos and information from LEAD conferences, leadership pointers, service project ideas, and much more. We love sharing information with our followers, but we also want to hear from you! Tell us what you’d like to see more tweets about. College prep tips? More tweets and Instagram posts from conferences? Get tweeting and let us know. We post polls from time to time and would love to hear your input. So, follow us, and let’s get to socializing! Oh, and when you’re at a LEAD Conference or State Summit, check out Snapchat (although we’re sure you already are). Swipe through to see if we have any geofilters when you’re at events, and share your snaps with us on Twitter and Instagram.


What will you do this year to honor your future? Will you give back to the community? Lead a student group? Start applying for college and scholarships? We want to know! Snap a pic of something you’re doing to jump-start your college career. Whether it’s signing an acceptance letter, getting a group photo at an induction ceremony, going on a college visit, or even just doing your homework—we want to see it all. Use #HonorYourFutureNow in your caption on Instagram (and tag @nhs_ njhs) and you’ll be entered to win an Instagram shoutout from Miss Teen USA 2014 K. Lee Graham and a video shoutout from YouTube star Ben J. Pierce.

Your Brand on Social

Social media can help you get in to college. (“Yeah, right,” you’re thinking, but it’s true.) Forty percent of admissions officers say they visit applicants’ social media pages to learn about their personalities and backgrounds. While 33 percent of admission officers said they found something negative on applicants’ social channels, the same percentage said they found details, such as leadership roles or community service, that reflected positively on an applicant.

Here are a few tips to help keep your profiles clean and show off all the good you’re doing in your school and community.

  1. If you’re nearing college application time (think sophomore year and up), keep your social channels clean or make them private.
  2. If your channels are private, admissions officers can’t see the good you’re doing. So, if you really want to wow the decision makers, keep your Twitter or Instagram public and show off what a great candidate you’d be for their school.
  3. Remember, there’s an appropriate channel for everything. We’re not saying you shouldn’t post pictures of you and your friends outside of school; maybe do that on Snapchat or your private Instagram. Use Facebook and Twitter to show photos from your service projects or after-school events with your chapter/council.

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