Welcome to the National Honor Society of Oak Meadow! This is an exclusive group of students who have exhibited the four criteria for election: scholarship, character, leadership, and service. NHS members must simultaneously maintain good grades and participate in many activities that make our community a better place. Membership in NHS is a privilege that is earned through academic work as well as good citizenship.
Students who are academically eligible are invited to apply (once or twice a year, in fall and spring), and then selected by a committee of faculty members. The selection is made largely based on students’ extracurricular and volunteer activities, as well as letters of recommendation and faculty input. Please visit each student’s profile below to learn more about these wonderful, caring, intelligent, and active young people!
- Membership in NHS entails a commitment. If you are invited to apply for membership, you must be willing to stay in touch with your adviser and fellow members, complete four hours of community service per month, and participate in planned NHS activities.
- NHS bylaws require a public induction, which is a challenge to achieve in a distance learning environment. We created this web page as a way to publicly recognize our amazing NHS members.
- NHS students are ambitious teens who use their time productively. They balance academics with other obligations and are working toward college, career, and personal goals.
Meet our 2017 inductees
Over several years, I found this joy in multiple activities including traveling, reading, sailing, spending time with family and friends, etc. Three things I found the most joy in were tennis, traveling, and service. As these things relate to the National Honors Society, service is very important to me. In the past two years I had multiple service opportunities in many different locations. At every service location, what made the most substantial impact was that everyone was cordial, generous, grateful, and outgoing. These experiences increased my awareness of where I can grow and change myself to be the best I can.
Through working at these service opportunities, I developed a stronger sense of humility and my character grew. With each and every service experience I saw how people lived and worked. Through all of these situations, I learned the resilience of the human spirit and how by helping each other everyone can live joyfully. Most of all, I learned how everyone is equal. From my hobbies to service, my character has evolved. I am more aware, more humble, and enjoy the things I do much more or find a way to enjoy what I am doing. Now I wish to continue my service and continue to develop an excellent character within the National Honors Society.
When I saw my acceptance into the National Honor Society, I knew this was a continuation of my journey to making a difference in my community. I already started with volunteering at my local food bank as well as attending the Civic Leadership Institute at Northwestern University. This acceptance further reinforces my desire to contribute to the healthy progression of our world. From my life experiences so far, I have found that leadership and character are the two National Honor Society qualities that are the most important characteristics of a well-rounded citizen, participant and human in my community and life.
I chose leadership and character because you can’t have one without the other. Good character means that you have integrity, determination, the willingness to be vulnerable and use your courage to conquer your fears. As I have seen from leaders across the globe, good character is obtained through hard work, learning from your failures and turning them into successes. I have translated these strategies into my own life in many different accounts. I have accomplished this through stepping forward and enjoying my time with the people in need at my local food bank. Leadership and character have also come into play when I am in one of my tennis matches. When faced with challenges of a failed strategy, I find strength and lead myself towards a better plan. Finally, I truly saw character and leadership going hand and hand with my experience in Peru where I pushed myself to help with Spanish translation which ultimately helped us obtain some basic needs and tools for projects. Having good character gave me the strength to be a leader in these situations. I look forward to using character and leadership as well as the other two National Honor Society qualities of service and scholarship to continue my evolution into a successful global citizen.
My hobbies are learning all kinds of information, playing many different sports, and exercising. I enjoy physical activities and spend a lot of time outdoors and with animals. I have a passion for math and science and believe strongly in protecting our environment. I also enjoy creating things in Photoshop and making wooden crafts. I hope to one day attain an excellent physique and use my interests to invent things and shape the future.
Our family has had many adventures in the last few years and learned amazing things about ourselves, our surroundings, and about other cultures. We learned how to be self-sufficient in making our own energy and water for daily use. We have taken pride in having a near zero environmental footprint, something we quickly realized the importance of when observing our surroundings. We faced challenges that allowed us to grow closer together as a family and saw amazing sights that made us appreciate being with each other. In my travels, I have enjoyed swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, various beach activities, and of course sailing.
However, I also have a variety of other interests that I am passionate about like reading, movies, computers, and video games. I intend to pursue a degree in Computer Science and one day obtain a job programming amazing video games for others to enjoy. I am proud to have been accepted into the National Honor Society and look forward to continuing to be a positive influence on those around me. Two qualities that I think are important are character and leadership. Having good character is important in becoming a responsible and caring person for yourself, those around you, and your environment. Leadership is essential as it has a direct impact on others and their decisions, which can affect everything in life. Those with good character and great leadership can have an increasingly positive outcome for our world.
I chose service and leadership as two particular qualities of an NHS member to highlight. I find joy in helping others and giving back to her community. I recognize those who are less fortunate, and am grateful to those who have enriched my life. Volunteering at my alma mater, soup kitchens, charity drives, benefit ballet performances at a retirement home, Yale’s Smilow Cancer Hospital, at a local library, and volunteering with an organization called Homeward Bound CT that helps to find forever homes for abandoned dogs are examples of my activities. I choose these activities because I enjoys being generous and giving back to those who have contributed to my life. I see leadership in many forms. I feel strongly that one does not have to be in an elected office, such as student council, to exhibit leadership, but instead simply be a good role model for others.
Again, I am proud to be recognized as a member of the National Honor Society, and I look forward to continuing to model the four qualities of scholarship, leadership, service, and character throughout my life.
To me, service is very important. Service is a way to help and give back to our local communities and organizations. It strengthens our connection with those around us, and leaves us wanting to do more good. Leadership is also an important aspect of life. Being a leader means encouraging those around us to do good and helping those who can’t help themselves. Leaders are responsible, caring, respectful, and are able to make important decisions and rise above unpleasant situations. I am so very excited to be a member of the NHS, and I can’t wait to see what it can do for me, and what I can do for it.
I am starting my second year of enrollment with Oak Meadow and am in the 10th grade, but this is my eighth year homeschooling! For the past six years I have been taking fencing classes, and this past year I began volunteering to help teach a youth fencing class at our local YMCA. Assisting the youth fencing class is not only a great way to give back and share something that I enjoy, it’s a lot of fun too! Some other things that I enjoy doing are: sailing (I am ASA certified), diving (I am PADI certified for SCUBA), drawing and creating art, and traveling with my family. Outside of school and activities, I also take care of a beach property and do other jobs that involve outside maintenence of property grounds. I feel very grateful for all of the opportunities that I’ve been trusted with and worked for because each experience—whether volunteering, traveling or learning a new skill—helps push me outside of my comfort zone and grow as a person.
Meet our 2016 inductees
I have committed myself to observing the world and my life as a glass half full without turning a blind eye to the struggles of others. My aim is to always be the best I can be and assist those less fortunate than me. I am honored to be asked to join the National Honor Society and believe its values align with my own.
Service and character are two qualities that I believe are closely related and a function of one another. I have found that the volunteer work taught me aspects about myself outside the scholarly work. I gained more from helping the kids in our neighborhood learn judo than actually going to judo simply for myself. It was a very fulfilling aspect of my service work. I also worked with mentally handicapped people, using animal therapy to help them have a better life. My service work helped build a stronger character, one I can live comfortably with. I think of character not only as what other see in you and the good deeds you are complimented on. I believe one’s character is how you feel about yourself and if you like the person you are. I try to treat others as would wish to be treated and refrain from being cruel to anyone. This quality makes my life happy and hopefully benefits others as well.
Meet our 2015 inductees
“I’m Hamzah Muhammad Al-Quaid and I’m an Oak Meadow Student studying from the UAE. Our family is originally from Pennsylvania, but has been in the Emirates for a number of years now. My corporal appearance is between an Arab and an American and we live in the midst of sand, camels and some pretty tall skyscrapers. In my house, I am the eldest of my seven brothers and sisters and am a leader, role-model and big brother. In my community, I try to be a friend, helper, and “improver.” I feel I am a person who is constantly striving to accomplish more, improve my character and develop myself personally. Outside of school, I have many fascinating and awesome hobbies. My favorite hobby is playing basketball with my dad and brothers. I play every day after school to stay fit and clear my mind. I also love spending time training, caring and riding my horses on our farm. It keeps me happy and busy knowing that I am servicing the needs of these marvelous animals on a regular basis. Lastly, another fulfilling hobby of mine is collecting sports cards. I collect, sell and trade mostly basketball cards but have many soccer and football cards as well. This hobby keeps me on my toes and even earns me some money as I serve the needs of other foreign and domestic collectors. Another thing that people cannot tell about me, from my outward appearance, is that I speak, read and write Arabic fluently. This acquired skill has helped me communicate with local people in the UAE as well as memorize many parts of our Holy Quran. My goal is to finish memorizing the entire Quran by the end of high school. Wish me luck!”
Emily is from Paoli, Pennsylvania. “I have always been a curious individual and a true lover of adventures. With three sisters there isn’t a day that lacks one. Now nearing the age of 17 and entering my junior year of high school, my time at home wanes and so spending time with my sisters is an important aspect of my life. Not only do I get to simply share sisterhood with them, but also a common passion for music. I am a classical pianist and have studied the art for nine years. My two little sisters have followed my lead into the world of classical music as violinist and cellist. As the eldest musician, I serve as the role model, a job that includes but is not limited to being the practice promoter, the musical dictionary, the tuning technician, and the inquiry expert. It was then only second nature to take leadership among my peers when playing chamber music. My experience as a leader through music was an incredibly fun and challenging one, and it is the reason why I find leadership extremely important. Without leadership among individuals, goals are unachievable. I have also found that great goals are unachievable without inspiration. Whether it be with other musicians or by myself, my greatest inspiration has been serving the community through music. Service is essential for passing down the tradition of classical music and increasing appreciation for the art. Music has been known to connect people and societies for generations, and as a musician, it is my obligation to be a part in continuing the tradition. In addition to my love for music, I enjoy painting and drawing, yoga, writing poetry, food, traveling with my family, and nature.”
Seth Jolles is proud and honored to be a member of the Oak Meadow Chapter of the National Honor Society. He enjoys dancing, singing, acting, and broadening his knowledge of the world, and he has a deep passion for learning new things and becoming immersed in the cultures of the world. Seth has been performing since the age of six; he has always loved the performing arts as a visual expression of emotion and story. He would like to thank his family, friends, and teachers for pushing him to his own party in greatest potential as a community member and student. Without the endless support of Seth’s parents he would not be where he is today and definitely would not have the courage to be himself. Seth has always had a passion for graphic design and marketing and therefore he took the initiative to create his own marketing aid company. The People’s Co. provides online marketing help to small and independent business’s who can not afford the exorbitant cost of advertising.
“My Name is Nora and I am 15. I was born in Cambodia and have lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico almost my whole life. If I am not doing schoolwork, I am probably riding a horse. I’ve been riding since I was almost six and it’s pretty hard to find many pictures of me that don’t have one of my horses in them. A lot of what I do is working toward my goal of representing Cambodia in the Southeast Asia Games in equestrian jumping. Besides riding, school is really important to me. I’m starting tenth grade and I’ve been homeschooled since fourth grade. I love math, physics, and poetry. I also spend time working on JustWorld, a philanthropic organization that plans all sorts of activities within the equestrian community to raise money that is used to fund schools in several developing countries, including Cambodia. It’s important to me to support the work JustWorld does because giving back and helping others is really important. The people I’ve met visiting developing countries can’t even imagine how much we have. It only takes a bit of effort every week to help make their lives so much better by making sure that all kids go to school and get clean water and decent meals. When all of my school and other activities are done, you’ll find me hanging out with my Great Dane, my Maltipoo, and Evin the cat, listening to lots of different types of music (very, very loud because my hearing is impaired) and probably reading a book at the same time.”
“My name is Jamie. My favorite subjects are art and science, though I also enjoy creative writing. When I am not working on schoolwork, some of my favorite activities include reading, gardening (or just being outside in nature), cooking, listening to music, spending time with my friends, drawing, writing (and reading) poetry, sewing, and watching movies. I tend to enjoy these types of activities more than sports, though I do practice martial arts, skiing, and noncompetitive swimming. I live in Connecticut with my parents, younger sister, and a lot of pets: two Siamese cats, a dog, two rabbits, and eleven chickens. I feel that all the qualities of the National Honor Society are important, particularly the qualities of scholarship and leadership. I have always cared about learning, so the scholarship quality has always been important to me. As for the leadership quality, I have worked to develop this quality by participating in my local 4-H club (I was named a junior leader a few years ago) and by participating in other, similar programs (such as becoming a junior counselor at a summer camp near my house). I feel honored to be a part of the National Honor Society.”
Paresa is a tenth grader. “My name is Paresa Mosavi and I live in College Station, Texas, with my mom, dad, older brother Paymon, and older sister Pegga. I was born and raised in this college town, which is home to Texas A&M University. My family and I live in the city close to the university, but we also own a piece of farmland on the edge of town. We keep and care for various farm animals on our land, such as cows, sheep, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, cats, and dogs. I enjoy visiting our land daily, where I help feed, water, and care for the animals. Helping out with my family’s land has taught me about and helped me acquire responsibility, leadership, and service, which I can now use to contribute to the National Honor Society. Some of my other hobbies and interests include researching and watching various film types, reading classic novels, taking care of my five cats (Shab, Toosy, Willy, Kiki, and Cheeto) and two dogs (Chubs and Daisy), volunteering at my local library, and traveling the world with my family. My family has traveled to many parts of the United States and world, where we have visited numerous famous landmarks and cities. For example, since my father is Persian and originally from Iran, my family has been to Iran many times. I feel very privileged to be able to be familiar with the Iranian culture and customs, and to have family half way around the world, in Iran, as well as in America!
“My name is Grace Norton and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I have been homeschooling with Oak Meadow for two years. I love learning and I am passionate about math. I also love leading young children and volunteering at nurseries and kindergartens. It is very important to me to inspire and teach young children and earn their trust as a leader. In my free time I love working in my family’s garden, and whenever I get the chance I love to be in a natural body of water. I enjoy swimming and paddle boarding. I’m so excited to be a part of NHS!”
“When I was little, doctors stated that I possessed a mental disorder that would make me a social recluse, unable to ever properly read, write, or speak. However, my parents and I worked to avert this prediction, choosing homeschooling curricula that accommodated my social awkwardness, while also endeavoring to make me a more social and versatile being. As I am part of a State Department family, I have spent much of my life outside of the United States, observing many other countries and people. As I became more exposed, I developed an interest in foreign languages (both ancient and modern) and the cultures that gave birth to them. I have developed a great interest in ancient cultures and philosophies, a field that I have created a YouTube channel to explore and explain. I currently learn modern Greek as an extracurricular activity, and I am a certified instructor in Soo Bahk Do, a Korean martial art that not only serves as a defensive style, but also a life philosophy of balance and peace. Teaching Soo Bahk Do serves as a form of practice for my planned profession: my ambition is to teach ancient languages and philosophies at the undergraduate level. Knowledge is the greatest gift that can be given, and knowledge of our past will allow us to better understand our present and influence our future. Those who gain such knowledge always become teachers in some form, as such leadership is something that is naturally given through the authority granted by scholarship. The values of scholarship and leadership must exist in tandem, as they are the keys to enlightenment and advancement.”
Samuel “Bubba” Sugarman is 17 years old and he lives on a small farm in San Diego, California. Samuel is a helicopter pilot and loves to fly over the San Diego coast. As a member of the National Leadership Council, Samuel has earned the Bronze and Silver Medals of the Congressional Award, and is currently a Gold Medal candidate. Samuel serves as the president of his 4H club and has exhibited steers, sheep, goats, and turkeys at the San Diego County Fair. When teaching orphans to swim in Grenada last summer, Samuel learned the value of “servant leadership.” It all starts with a desire to serve others first, and this choice brings about the desire to lead. It’s all about asking the question, do those served grow as persons? A servant leader focuses on the growth of the community he is serving. Samuel loved this model of service and looks for other opportunities to practice it in his life. At home, he cares for horses, sheep, goats, rabbits, donkeys, geese, ducks, chickens and llamas, among other livestock. Samuel also enjoys blacksmithing, playing the cello, DJing, beekeeping, surfing and roping cattle.
“I was born in Belgium, but I am British. I lived near Brussels until I was twelve when we moved to Long Island, New York. My passion is reading and writing. I studied a lot of English classics and learnt French in Europe. I love expanding my learning through Oak Meadow’s curriculum. We live close to a beach, and cycle along the quiet roads near our house. I regularly look after our neighbors’ two dogs, which I love. Each week I do voluntary work at the North Shore Holiday House. This is a long-established charity near Cold Spring Harbor. It provides annual summer holidays for under-privileged children. I also enjoy contributing to our neighborhood association by helping with the communal gardening.”
Pallavi graduated from Oak Meadow in June 2015. “One of my defining characteristics, I think, is the atmosphere I grew up in, and the cultures which created that atmosphere. My mother was born in India and has carried the impact of that country her whole life, passing it on to me and my brothers. The majority of my existence has been spent in America, which has given me plenty of experience with the Western culture and has allowed me to weave both Eastern and Western cultural aspects into my life. This in particular has helped me to develop my character and to understand the value of others and how they deserve to be treated. Furthermore, this has led me to be appreciative of the opportunities I am presented with, which allow me to provide service to others.”
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