Founded in 1929, the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) is an internationally renowned student organizationNHJS committed to upholding the five pillars of scholarship, character, citizenship, service, and leadership within secondary schools. NJHS chapters can be found in all 50 states, and it is estimated that approximately one million students participate in chapters throughout the world. Members of this organization engage in local and school based community service projects, and meet regularly with the support of chapter advisers.

This year, 7th and 8th grade students at BASIS Independent Brooklyn became eligible to participate in our school’s very first NJHS chapter. Our school already has an established National Honor Society, and our chapter advisory board was thrilled to present this opportunity to some of our younger students. Our faculty council selected students to apply based on past academic and extracurricular achievement (students must maintain an overall grade point average of 3.5), and exemplary behavior. Once selected, students were required to write an essay outlining their interest in the organization, and their commitment to serving their school and local community.

NJHS candidates must complete a total of 15 service hours to be officially inducted into the organization. Our chapter advisors, Dean Goodin, and Mr. Rappelfeld, (our 7th grade World History II teacher), meet with candidates via Zoom every two weeks to facilitate discussion around planning and executing various projects. So far, students have been partnering with local organizations that offer safe, socially-distanced volunteer opportunities, such as Battery Park Urban Farm and CHiPs soup kitchen. Our students have also been taking advantage of remote and virtual volunteer opportunities, such as creating cards for essential workers and deployed troops via Operation Gratitude, hosting virtual diversity book clubs, and preparing letters and videos for Teacher Appreciation week. Once students have fulfilled all of their commitments, they will participate in an end of year induction ceremony, celebrating all of their hard work.

Next year, our chapter advisers look forward to welcoming incoming 7th grade students, and any other eligible 8th or 9th grade students who would like to be a part of BASIS Independent Brooklyn’s NJHS chapter. We also hope to elect student officers during the 2021-2022 school year. Stay tuned for more announcements about NJHS!

Below - Image from Past food drive led by our high school students to benefit CHiPS, which NHJS will also work to serve in this school year.