Eighth grade student shares her experience with NJHS

Alina Addari is the president of the National Junior Honor Society at St. Paul School.

My name is Alina Addari and I am the president of the National Junior Honor Society at St. Paul School in Burlington. I am currently an eighth grader and I have been going to St. Paul School since kindergarten. It was only a couple of years ago when our school first started a NJHS program — I was in sixth grade. To be eligible, middle school students must have at least a 95 percent in all of their classes, and they must maintain an A-average. This is my third year being in the National Junior Honor Society. Last year, I ran for president, and I was very happy when I found out that I had won. Being the president requires you to be a leader and a role model. I always try to exhibit leadership among my peers, and I try to be an example to children in all grades.

In NJHS, we learn about taking responsibility, becoming a leader, and encouraging others, as well as how to serve the community. Being a member of NJHS is a big accomplishment and a big responsibility. We are taught lifelong skills about how to be prepared and how to serve those around us.

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Every member in NJHS has to do an individual service project. The members usually decide to do their service projects on things that interest them. In the past, people have helped to assist in a younger dance class, they’ve helped teach young children how to swim, I’ve volunteered to help out with special needs children at my cheer gym, and I have also helped to clean up trash outside of my sister’s dance studio. After we complete our service project, we are required to write a paper about how this act has helped the community, what we have learned from this project and how doing this has inspired us. I look forward to doing this individual service project every year because I really want to make a difference in the world.

In addition to doing an individual service project, we complete group service projects throughout the year as a whole. During Read Across America Week, we go and read stories to children in preschools, as well as lead a craft with them. We all really look forward to taking this trip because we really like children and spending time with them. Another activity that everybody loves is planning and hosting a Valentine’s Day Dance for the elders at the Masonic Home. This was a wonderful experience for all of us. Not only did we really enjoy this project, but the elders loved it as well. At the end of the dance, so many people came up to me asking me if we were going to come back again. Our biggest service project is when we take a trip to the Ronald McDonald House. For the past three years, we have taken a trip to the Ronald McDonald house in the morning to make and serve breakfast to the parents and patients. This is one of everyone’s favorite trips that we go on. It brings us so much joy being able to do something for the patients. It is such a heartwarming experience and we look forward to it every year.
NJHS has been a big part of my life ever since I was inducted into the program three years ago. This program has really impacted my life and has made me a better person. I am really going to miss this next year, after I graduate. Being a part of either NJHS or NHS is definitely something that I would encourage you to work for. “Faith in action is love, and love in action is service” — Blessed Teresa Calcutta.

Nothing is better than knowing that you did something to make someone’s day or helped to make the world a better place.

Alina is an eighth grade student at St. Paul School who lives in Burlington Township.

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