Are your NJHS students showing their commitment to the five pillars of National Junior High Society: scholarship, service, leadership, character, and citizenship? Then encourage them to apply for the NJHS Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA). The top 500 students will receive a $500 college savings plan to support their educational aspirations. Applications are due March 29. Below, we highlight what three NJHS advisers have to say about the award’s impact on their students and their chapters. Take their word for it: This is an opportunity you don’t want your students to miss!

“The NJHS Outstanding Achievement Award is a unique opportunity for middle school students to showcase their commitment to the five pillars of NJHS while also practicing college and career skills. The NJHS OAA paves the way for future endeavors by giving members exposure to the vital process of learning how to complete applications, requesting letters of recommendation, obtaining a transcript, and writing a scholarship essay. Winning the NJHS OAA validated my students’ efforts and encouraged their pursuit of additional scholastic opportunities.

I encourage my students to apply for the NJHS OAA each year because I firmly believe that even if they are not selected, the process of completing the scholarship is invaluable. The scholarship process provides our chapter members with exposure to the level of commitment required of them for future scholarships and college applications. The OAA scholarship application sets the bar high for our chapter members. I personally love watching my students realize that every act of service and leadership, big or small, helps them rise to a level of greatness that they may not have even realized was in them.”

—Nicole Elmore
Seventh-grade language arts teacher, NJHS program coordinator
River Heights Intermediate School
Eastvale, CA

“I ask for all of my NJHS students to look through the application during a meeting. I go through the application process with them and explain the importance of learning how to complete an application from start to finish. I go through the entire application and students have time to ask questions and we go over concerns. Of course, we discuss winning the scholarship and what is behind it. Students understand that earning the scholarship will allow them to add this accomplishment to future applications, especially the application for NHS. I reiterate that the recognition of receiving this scholarship gives students a sense of pride and accomplishment.”

—Lyndsay M. Hamby
Eighth-grade English teacher and instructional leader, NJHS adviser
Princess Anne Middle School
Virginia Beach, VA

“I consider the NJHS Award to be a member’s first and best chance at being recognized for both their objectives and their consistent and continuous efforts. It is vitally important, in my opinion, for members to begin preparing both academically and financially to attend college. The Outstanding Achievement Award is the first step of a climb towards the goal of attending college.

Being recognized at the national level sends an irrefutable message of success and recognition to members (and their families). This recognition of not only their good intentions but their hard work rewards their persistence and serves to spur them on to future success. It is easier to succeed when you are building on success.”

—AnnMarie Daniele
Eighth-grade math teacher, NJHS sponsor
Vicenza Middle School-DoDEA
Vicenza, Italy

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