By Pixie Sulser
The first year, the group purchased college flags for every classroom and office on campus. Last year’s group originated the idea of College Week to support the flags flying around the school.
This year’s NJHS continued building the college culture, starting with an invitation for all students to Pledge to College. Students wrote their name and the college they hope to attend on strips of paper that were formed into links of a College Pledge chain.
Facts about the benefits of attending college and the names of universities across the nation were shared through activities such a lunchtime Rap-Off, an obstacle course in which students had to answer college trivia questions before advancing through the course, and a college flag scavenger hunt. Students and teachers sported college attire on a daily basis, and several universities were highlighted on the morning broadcast system, Olive Peirce Today.
“I believe College Week had an effect on every student at OPMS,” said NJHS member Ashley Deslauriers. “Our message that college is worth the effort was most definitely seen and heard.”
“I think students benefited from learning what colleges look for in a student,” added Stephanie Kovach, also a NJHS member.
NJHS is part of a national organization. The 40 eighth-grade members of the OPMS branch take college seriously.
“However, even the most driven students need help from teachers, counselors and parents,” said Forbes, “so, as an extension of College Week, we invited the parents of our NJHS members to a Parent Night.”
During the evening, parents were guided through the process of helping their student prepare for college at the start of their freshmen year in high school.
“Each NJHS member created a binder titled High School & Beyond. The binder is organized like a college application. If students and their parents use the binders to file high school information as it happens, they will be extremely organized and ready when it comes time to complete college applications and to apply for scholarships,” explained Forbes.When students reach the high school, they may continue their involvement in a national academic organization by becoming members of the National Honor Society.