Two Williamsburg Students are National Honor Society Semifinalists
This year, over 25,000 of the nation’s best and brightest students applied for the prestigious National Honor Society Scholarships. Out of those 25,000 students, only 300 are selected as National Semifinalists and earn a $1500 scholarship. As a frame of reference, only three students each from the entire states of Nevada and Utah were selected in 2015 as National Semifinalists (listed here).
This year, Williamsburg is incredibly honored to have two of the 300 National Semifinalists among our own graduating seniors! We’re proud of Ms.Tasha Allred, who helped Williamsburg students found an NHS chapter at Williamsburg, and who has been guiding and supporting this chapter since inception. And we’re so proud of Spencer Larson and Ryan Quade that we asked them each to share some thoughts about this experience, and to touch on how Williamsburg helped them to prepare.
The National Honor Society scholarship asks candidates about academics, leadership, service, employment, awards and honors; it also requires written essays and recommendations from school and chapter leaders. Despite extensive work on this application, I had no hope that I would earn the NHS Scholarship because I felt like an “average white male” out of over one million NHS members. I had never gone to South America for a service project and I did not have a 36 on the ACT. Yet somehow I successfully showed the committee that what I lacked in academic and service excellence, I made up for in consistency and hard work. I did service weekly, I earned As in each class, and I jumped at opportunities for leadership in school, church, and the community.
Williamsburg’s curriculum, culture, and community go hand in hand with the NHS Four Pillars: Scholarship, Character, Service, and Leadership. Williamsburg prepares students for meaningful lives through developing character and serving others, and helped me to develop my full potential mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, and for that I am extremely grateful. For those who are interested in the NHS scholarship and similar opportunities, keep your head up, keep working hard, and keep developing your scholarship and character, and practicing service and leadership, and you might just be surprised what comes your way!
The National Honor Society holds four pillars: scholarship, service, leadership, and character. The very essence of Williamsburg prepared me to move right into NHS . In a freshman course I took with Mr. Hailstone, I was encouraged, pushed, and challenged to deepen my insights and understanding of the world, the great ideas, and myself. In my Social Leadership class with Mrs. Baker, I was inspired to serve. The project I completed for that class––a shoe drive for the Shoeman Water Project––inspired me with hope and gave me the confidence I needed to continue serving. It also gave me an excellent experience to share in my NHS application.
Throughout my high school career, I have given over 1,000 hours to dozens of charities and governmental organizations, and much of this service was inspired by Williamsburg’s leadership curriculum. I have applied the theories, attributes, and techniques I learned in my Williamsburg leadership classes in my community as I have volunteered in community bands, teen leadership councils, and conferences. I believe the amount of positive energy at Williamsburg comes down to one thing––our ethics. I have done my best to apply Williamsburg’s “Elevated Ethics,” which include “Build, Serve, Go First, and Respect,” in all I have done in both school and life, and they have helped me become a better person. I would never be in the place I am, emotionally or mentally, without Williamsburg.
Please join us in congratulating Spencer and Ryan! We’re excited about the doors that open to our students who apply themselves, internalize our leadership training, and show passion, determination, and grit. We’re honored to have these two students win these prestigious awards in our own little Williamsburg chapter of the National Honor Society and expect that more will follow.
President, Williamsburg Educational Services