Participation Station

This issue of Participation Station is all about you and your leadership—now and in the future. What kind of leader are you? How will you grow as a leader? And how will you reach beyond yourself to extend your leadership, recognizing the global nature of our society today? In other words, have you considered something you could do that has a wide reach—something that has impact across the nation and the world?

In April, we celebrate National Student Leadership Week, and this year’s theme ties with the NASSP Student Leadership Initiative: Global Citizenship. Scan this issue of Participation Station for a wide variety of ways you can strengthen your leadership—as a student and as a citizen. Be sure to share your goals and successes throughout the year using #MakingGlobalChange on social media andvisit www.makingglobalchange.org for ideas today!

Operation Gratitude

When NHS officers at Cypress Falls High School in Houston, TX, were trying to decide on a project, they knew that they wanted to do something that would have a profound effect on not only the people who resided in their community, but on people around the world. Operation Gratitude was the perfect solution to do just that. The project focused on giving back to those involved in the military by providing much-needed resources to soldiers, veterans, and their families. First, NHS members organized a card-making event where returning and newly inducted members spent an afternoon designing and decorating a plethora of cards—Thank You, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, etc.—to remind our soldiers that they’re appreciated and in our thoughts during a time that would normally be spent with their families. In total, the members made 165 beautiful, unique cards.

Along with the card-making event, NHS members held an ongoing donation drive throughout the semester. They managed to collect four sticks of deodorant, one pack of stationary, one pack of makeup removing wipes, five tubes of Chapstick, eight tubes of toothpaste, 11 bottles of shaving cream, 29 pairs of socks, four bags of flossers, one container of floss, 15 pens, one pair of gloves, one DVD, eight composition books, eight bottles of mouthwash, one stuffed animal, and 10 packages of sanitary napkins! The cards and donated goods were then made into care packages that were distributed to veterans, soldiers, and their families. Operation Gratitude is just one of many ways NHS, NJHS, and NASC members are #MakingGlobalChange. A project like this fulfills the NASSP student leadership initiative on global citizenship’s strand on empathetic actions and wellness. What can you do to make a difference?

Show of Hands

Recently, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, parent organization of NASC, NHS, and NJHS, kicked off a two-year student leadership initiative on global citizenship. We recently polled students on Twitter related to the effort.

Your Future is Bright

We’re Making Your College Search Easier

Did you know you could “visit” dozens of college and university representatives from across the country in a single day … and never set foot outside your home or school? Participate in the Virtual College Fair, coming Thursday, May 25! It’s open to all students in grades 9 through 12.
On that date, hop on to your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer and log in to chat with reps from colleges and universities from coast to coast. There will also be virtual workshops and videos throughout the event. The fair takes place between 2:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. (ET)/11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. (PT) on May 25. It’s a great way to build—or narrow down—your college wish list and not break the bank traveling to multiple locations.

As you prepare to participate—or even as you get ready to make an in-person visit to a school—consider asking admission representatives these questions as you research your college options:

  • What programs does your school offer? You may have a major in mind—you may not. Either way, will your academic or career interests, no matter how firmly they are defined, be well served by the school? And there are programs beyond academic majors. For example, many schools boast robust study abroad and internship programs. These may be important considerations for you.
  • What is the average financial aid package? Consider this figure alongside the cost of tuition to help you determine whether this school might be affordable for you.
  • What happens when your students graduate? How quickly do graduates land jobs? Where do they get jobs? How many go on to grad school—and where do they go? The answers may offer important clues for you.
  • What’s the culture of your school? How comfortable will you be in the environment? How many clubs and organizations are there? Do students leave on the weekends? An empty campus on the weekend might be a sign of a lackluster campus life—which may or may not be of concern.

The Virtual College Fair is free, so take advantage of this opportunity to discover new options in your college search. Visit www.nasspvirtualcollegefair.com for more information or to register.

Your National Student Leadership Week Checklist For Success

National Student Leadership Week is just around the corner. April 16–22 is the time for councils and chapters to celebrate the student leaders in your schools, all while using the annual theme to demonstrate leadership. We want to help you get ready for National Student Leadership Week, so we created this checklist to help you get prepared!

  • Make sure teachers, principals, and students around your school know when NSLW 2017 is. (Use the poster we provide at www.nasc.us/nslw, www.nhs.us/nslw, or www.njhs.us/nslw.)
  • Prepare a newspaper column to share all the great things student leaders are doing in your school.
  • Consider sending a press release to your local media about NSLW. Use the sample we provide at www.nhs.us/nslw, www.njhs.us/nslw, or www.nasc.us/nslw.
  • Become familiar with the 2017 theme—Making a World of Difference—and think about how your council or chapter can do a project to illustrate it.
  • Get ready to show us what you’re doing using #NSLW17 on social media.
  • Read up on our “Tasty”-style video contest. (See below for more details.)
  • Stage an assembly to recognize your student leaders.
  • Plan activities that incorporate your entire student body.

Making Global Change Video Challenge

Enter our Making Global Change “Tasty”-style video challenge! As NHS, NJHS, and NASC members, we want you to reflect on your favorite cause or one that you would like to get involved in.

Visualize what you want your end result to be and think of that as your “entree.” Those are your “ingredients!” What people, places, and things will go into your “recipe” to make global change?

Here’s an example: If your “entree” (think: result) is to donate blankets to the homeless, you would add one group of NHS students, plus 18 pieces of fleece, plus 9 pairs of scissors, plus 2 cups of kindness, and you get warmth for the homeless in your community.

You don’t have to do this alone! Get a group of friends together to create the video. It doesn’t have to be fancy; you can use a series of drawings and put them into iMovie or check out free movie-making apps like Animoto.

Please visit www.nhs.us/nslw, www.njhs.us/nslw, or www.nasc.us/nslw to see a sample video we whipped up. We can’t wait to see the “recipes” you create and share!

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