The National Honor Society (NHS) and National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) are premier organizations established to recognize outstanding high school students. More than just an honor roll, NHS serves to recognize those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, and character. These characteristics have been associated with membership in the organization since its beginning in 1921.
Four main purposes have guided chapters of NHS from the beginning:
1. to create enthusiasm for scholarship
2. to stimulate a desire to render service
3. to promote leadership
4. to develop character in the students of secondary schools
Today, it is estimated that more than one million students participate in NHS activities. NHS chapters are found in all 50 USA states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, many U.S. territories, and Canada. They can also be found in areas of Asia; Pakistan has three schools maintaining an active chapter. They further can be found in international and American schools throughout the globe. Chapter membership not only recognizes students for their accomplishments, but challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service
The NHS motto is noblesse oblige. This is French for “nobility obligates”. Translated this means:
– Whoever claims to be noble must conduct himself nobly.
– (Figuratively) One must act in a fashion that conforms with one’s position, and with the reputation that one has earned.
The national minimum standard for membership shall be a cumulative scholastic average of at least 85 percent, B, or 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or the equivalent standard of excellence. Candidates shall then be evaluated on the basis of service, leadership, and character.