Put down the paperwork. Set aside the meeting agenda. 

Chances are, one of the aspects you appreciate most about your role as an Honor Society adviser is nurturing the growth of students beyond the classroom. You have a truly unique opportunity to shape the future of your members. 

The National Honor Societies want to equip you with vital information we recommend you share to move the needle even more for those you advise. 

Based on the findings of an online survey administered by Kelton Global in early September 2015 on behalf of the National Honor Societies, nearly three-quarters of college admission officers (72 percent) recommend students prepare for college before or by ninth grade. However, more than half of middle level students (52 percent) say they haven’t started preparing. 

The survey polled 1,041 middle level and high school students and 107 college admission officers. 

In evaluating applicants, another finding revealed that 59 percent of college admission officers look for students’ participation in community service, and 53 percent look for a student’s membership in a school club or program.

“Students may be overlooking an opportunity when it comes to realizing the importance of showcasing how well rounded they are and ways in which they might contribute to a university community,” says Jonathan Mathis, director of the National Honor Societies. 

To help students, as well as their parents, teachers/advisers, and school leaders grasp the significance of this big-picture view of life planning and preparation, the National Honor Societies have been conducting an awareness campaign throughout this year based on the theme “Honor Your Future Now.”

You may have seen or read an interview with the campaign’s national spokesperson, Hill Harper. A National Honor Society alumnus, Harper may be known best for his role in the CBS drama Limitless. That show title aptly describes his background. 

With three Ivy League degrees under his belt, Harper has been speaking passionately from coast to coast about the value he gained from his NHS membership. 

With TV interviews from Los Angeles to St. Louis and dozens of other media outlets, Harper has been touting the benefits of his NHS experience. In Jet magazine, he advised young people, “It’s important to show that you’re not a one-dimensional person. Show that you’re interested in things outside of yourself, particularly the areas of service and extracurricular groups.” 

As part of the “Honor Your Future Now” campaign, a website (www.honoryourfuturenow.org) was launched to help students and their parents navigate the college planning and preparation process.

One of the tools available there is a visual guide to acquaint students, and their parents especially, with the path toward paying for college. An interactive piece with embedded links to helpful websites, the guide can be viewed online or downloaded for reference.

Encourage your members, especially NJHS members and their parents, to visit the site and become familiar with the guidance offered.

Now, back to that paperwork. (Sorry!) —

ICYMI: College Admission Webinar Series

To support members in their higher education pursuits, this year NHS and NJHS introduced an exclusive series of three college admission planning webinars. During the series, college admission and financial aid experts served as panelists and participants in coinciding Twitter Town Halls. 

Archives of this year’s webinars are available for viewing at www.nhs.us/webinars and www.njhs.us/webinars

The series will continue next academic year. So, as you induct new members, be sure to share this opportunity with them.