The National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) elevates a school’s commitment to the values of scholarship, service, leadership, character, and citizenship. These five pillars have been associated with membership in the organization since its inception in 1929. Learn more about these four pillars of membership here.
Today, it is estimated that more than one million students participate in NJHS activities. NJHS chapters are found in all 50 states, US Territories, and around the world . Chapter membership not only recognizes students for their accomplishments, but challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service.
As such, NJHS chapters and students are in schools that care not only about student achievement, but also community engagement.
NJHS students and their peers volunteer in their communities at the highest rates and make connecting with and serving within the community a priority. The average chapter contributes:
- 650 hours of school/community service
- $1,000 in charitable donations
- 500 pounds of food to local, state, and national causes
- 375 pints of blood
The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) officially established NJHS in 1929, eight years after it founded National Honor Society for high school students.
The first chapter was established in the lower grades of the Webster Groves High School in Missouri. The first charter to a junior high school was granted to Clarinda Junior High School in Iowa. Equipped with a constitution, an emblem and motto, and a group of dedicated principals as coordinators, the new NJHS organization quickly developed into one of the country’s leading educational groups.
Five main purposes have guided chapters of NJHS from the beginning: to create enthusiasm for scholarship; to stimulate a desire to render service; to promote leadership; to encourage responsible citizenship; and to develop character in the students of secondary schools. These purposes also translate into the criteria used for membership selection in each local chapter.