So you graduated… But what now???

You worked hard. You spent countless late nights, writing papers, and guzzling incalculable of cups of coffee. You pulled so many all-nighters, fighting sleep and cramming for those exams… You literally put everything you had into it – blood, sweat, tears – and you made the grade. You’re finally walking across that stage and receiving that hard-earned diploma… But NOW WHAT?

The truth is, there’s SO MUCH advice we could give you on where to go next, and what to do there… But we LOVE the collaboration of thoughts and advice that Business Insider released this week, so we thought we’d share…

They write:

“A great commencement or class-day speech sticks with you forever. You remember it when you accept for your first job, and when you quit it.

Too many, unfortunately, offer the same warmed-over clichés, like “dream big,” “work hard,” or “follow your passion.” 

But there are some lessons that are truly worth remembering, or so well-said that they stick in the memory longer than just about anything else. 

We’ve collected some of the greatest speeches and pieces of advice, worth reading and listening to for any grad, or anyone looking for guidance.”

To read more, click here.

The 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars

We are absolutely ecstatic that two of our own NTHS family have received the honor of being accepted into the 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program! Our heartfelt congratulations go out to  Helen J. Smith from Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, GA, and Evan C. Welsh from Grand Forks Central High School in Grand Forks, ND!

Each year, up to 161 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students, and we’re so very proud that NTHS is being so well represented in the class of 2017!

From the U.S. Department of Education’s website:

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced the 53rd class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, recognizing 161 high school seniors for their accomplishments in academics, the arts and career and technical education fields.

“I congratulate this year’s class of Presidential Scholars for their devotion to academic excellence and their parents and teachers who have guided them along the way,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.  “Today’s Presidential Scholars are tomorrow’s leaders, and I am confident they will continue to be shining examples as they enter the next phase of their academic careers.”

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

Of the 3.5 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,100 candidates qualified for the 2017 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations or the National YoungArts Foundation’s nationwide YoungArts™competition.

The 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts and 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education.

Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored almost 7,500 of the nation’s top-performing students with the prestigious award given to honorees during an annual ceremony in Washington. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

The 2017 ceremony will be held June 18, when each honoree will receive a Presidential Scholar Medallion.

A complete list of 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars follows and is also available at

Getting Ready for Red Nose Day!

What is it?

Red Nose Day was established in 1985 by a British organization called Comic Relief with the goal of creating a world free from poverty.

Millions of people participated that first year, and since then, it has grown into a massive global awareness and fundraising campaign that is making an effort to make sure every child is healthy, safe, educated and empowered for the future. Since 2015 alone, Red Nose Day has raised over $60 million to help kids that are most in need, and these funds are funneled into children’s programs in all 50 states, as well as some of the poorest communities in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

We want to see your red noses!

Red Nose Day is being celebrated in the U.S. on May 25th, and that’s still about 3 weeks away! But the staff here at NTHS national headquarters has already donned our red noses, and we’re taking up collections for a staff donation! Now we want to see how YOU’RE helping with this project!

We’re challenging all our NTHS chapters across the country to get involved! Start a fundraising campaign at your
school! Send us your red nose pictures! Tell us your story of how you’re getting involved this year! Make us laugh while making a difference!

All entries can be emailed to, and who knows? There just may be a special prize for the chapter or school that we think is making the biggest impact!

Spring Break NTHS Style!

We invited our members to tell us why their Spring Breaks were so memorable this year, and we had a fantastic response! Each one of the students below will be receiving a prize packet, including one of our new NTHS brand t-shirts! We wish we could have published all the entries we received, but here are a few of our favorites…

“Over my spring break I went to Chicago,
Illinois with the Wadsworth High School Marching Band. We attended the performances of ‘Mama Mia’ as well as ‘The Blue Man Group.’ We spent a morning at the bean in Millennium Park, an afternoon at the Navy Pier, and the evening in the John Hancock Center. We had the opportunity to go to the Shedd Aquarium, as well as the Driehaus Museum. It was an educational and exciting experience that I was ecstatic to share with my friends.”

Sarah Keller
Four Cities Educational Compact
Wadsworth, OH

“My spring break was an awesome adventure. I decided to take a road trip
across Mississippi by myself. I wanted to spend that time getting to know myself more because since school had started, I haven’t been treating myself like I should. I ended up traveling 283 miles away from my home and in ended up in Olive Branch, MS. I walked for hours that night taking pictures of all the local sites like a blues festival and a children’s circus act. In the end, all I could think of that night was what a wonderful time it is to be alive. I worked on strengthening my faith and letting myself relax more. But most importantly, I got to rediscover myself and make sure I was okay and healthy in general. When I got back to school, I knew that I was going to be okay until summer break.”

Demyia Graham
Port Gibson, MS
Claiborne County Vocational & Technical Complex

“My mom had originally planned to go to the mountains for spring break, but that fell through and we decided on Orlando. We didn’t have a plan or specific place to go, but ended up going to Legoland for my little brothers. it wasn’t quite as good as I had hoped, but I still got some good memories out of it.”

Mitchell Bond
Semmes, AL
T. L. Faulkner Career Technical Center

“For spring break my family and I went to Jamaica to explore the countryside
 and take a break from regular city life! We went to Dunn’s River Falls, Bob Marley’s old home in Nine Mile, Jamaica, zip lining and tubing in the Jamaican rain forest, and ATV riding through the farms and off the coast! It was an amazing experience and I would definitely go back!”

Lauren Myers
Alexandria, VA
Edison Academy

“My 10 day spring break consisted of a lot of driving back and forth from Ohio to Virginia to visit family and take senior pictures (FINALLY!) and spending the week with my grandma in Virginia. She is sadly selling her beautiful 3 story home full of memories and moving on to smaller houses, but better places! I helped her with a FIVE page to-do-list and I’m happy to say we got most of the items crossed of the list!”

Grace Smith
Hinton, WV
Greenbrier East High School

Make sure to stay tuned to our eNews, as well as our social media sites and this blog for more chances to win!

10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day on Your School Campus


About Earth Day

Earth Day is an internationally celebrated day to focus on the environment, and it’s tomorrow! It takes place every year on the anniversary of the day in 1970 that 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. That day, groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife came together and suddenly realized they shared common values.

Today, Earth Day is the largest secular observance in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people in 192 different countries every year, and it’s become a day of action that changes human behavior and provokes policy changes.

Get Involved

We love that so many of our NTHS chapters and members have a true desire to help better the communities they live in! So how can YOU, as a student, personally celebrate Earth Day tomorrow on your school campus? Our friends at the National Wildlife Federation have 10 great ideas!

1. Working with campus facilities, post signage near green spaces on campus to educate the community on the importance of these spaces and their role in supporting wildlife in a warming climate. Explore more ideas on climate adaptation.

James Byard/WUSTL Photos

James Byard/WUSTL Photos

2. Working with campus facilities, design and build a rooftop garden and highlight the benefits of energy conservation and habitat for birds and bees. Explore more ideas on green buildings.

3. Partnering with a local hardware store, and providing free CFL lightbulbs to lower-income community homes to help them save energy. Explore more ideas on community and environmental justice.

4. Doing a daily trash audit of your dorm room or house and identifying items that could have been recycled or reused and share this news with the occupants. Explore more ideas on consumption and waste.

Hosting a week-long or month-long campaign in your dorm or house to educate occupants about turning off the lights, unplugging electronics when not in use, and other energy conservation tips. Explore more ideas on energy conservation.

Niraj Credited6. Organizing a food festival, in partnership with your campus dining services and local farms, to offer local foods and educate about the benefits of buying local. Explore more ideas on food.

7. Organizing a restoration project, choose an existing landscaped area that could be restored with native species or an unused developed area that could be restored back to green space to support campus plants and animals. Explore more ideas on habitat and wildlife.

Working with your campus bookstore, organize a special section right up front that features recycled-content items for students and staff to purchase. Explore more ideas on greener purchasing.

University of Chicago recycles - Photo by Tom McGrath9. Hosting a bicycle week during Earth week or anytime during April and provide incentives to students, faculty and staff that bike the most miles. Explore more ideas on greener transportation.

10. Working with campus facilities, host a rain barrel painting contest and place the rain barrels throughout campus to collect water for landscaping. Explore more ideas on water conservation.

Is it an Honor or a Scam?

We were thrilled to have been contacted a few weeks ago by a freelance writer working for ThoughtCo, an organization dedicated to reliable educational and informational content via the Web. We understand that sometimes it’s hard to decipher between  “vanity” honor societies, and legitimate honor societies in which one must qualify to be a member.

Our Executive Director, C. Allen Powell had a few thoughts on this, and was able to share them…

From ThoughtCo’s article:

“According to the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS), “honor societies exist primarily to recognize the attainment of scholarship of a superior quality.” In addition, the CAS notes “a few societies recognize the development of leadership qualities and commitment to service and excellence in research in addition to a strong scholarship record.”

 However, with so many organizations, students might not be able to distinguish between legitimate and fraudulent college honor societies.


One way to evaluate the legitimacy of an honor society is to look at its history. “Legitimate honor societies have a long history and legacy that is easily recognizable,” according to Hannah Breaux, who is the communications director for Phi Kappa Phi. The honor society was founded at the University of Maine in 1897. Breaux tells ThoughtCo, “Today, we have chapters on more than 300 campuses in the United States and the Philippines, and have initiated over 1.5 million members since our founding.”

According to C. Allen Powell, executive director and co-founder of the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS), “Students should find out if the organization is a registered, non-profit, educational organization or not.” He tells ThoughtCo this information should be prominently displayed on the society’s website.

 “For-profit honor societies should usually be avoided and tend to promise more services and benefits than they deliver,” Powell warns.

The organization’s structure should also be evaluated. Powell says students should determine, “Is it a school/college chapter-based organization or not?  Must a candidate be recommended by the school for membership, or can they join directly without school documentation?”

High academic achievement is usually another requirement. For example, eligibility for Phi Kappa Phi requires juniors to be ranked in the top 7.5% of their class, and seniors and graduate students must be ranked in the top 10% of their class. The members of the National Technical Honor Society may be in high school, tech college, or college; however, all students need to have at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.

Powell also thinks it is a good idea to ask for references.  “A list of member schools and colleges should be found on the organization’s website – go to those member school web sites and get references.” Read more…

Where have all the skilled workers gone?

From the Houston Business Journal:

There was a time in this country when a college degree was considered the key to the American Dream. However, today, university education is synonymous with crippling student debt, frequent dropouts, underemployment or recent graduates working outside of their chosen fields.

What happened to the pathway leading to the American Dream? Supply and demand. Currently, there are an overwhelming amount of college graduates in the U.S. – the most there have ever been in the history of American education – and it’s not only affecting the supply and demand of industries; it’s creating immense competition within the workforce. More

college graduates are vying for jobs that require little to no education, pushing them further behind in their career progression. Meanwhile, employers in the automotive and home-repair industries, for example, cannot find the quality skilled workers they need. In its 2015 Talent Shortage Survey, ManpowerGroup ranked jobs in the skilled trades – think electricians, plumbers and auto technicians – as the hardest to fill. American businesses simply are not able to find applicants with the technical competencies they need; and this is something that is echoed by the employers in the Greater Houston area as well.

Our state, and the nation as a whole, faces another issue that threatens to stall our progress and slow our economy: a serious lack of skilled workers.

Changing America’s educational system

In today’s society, vocational careers are commonly perceived as inferior or too “blue collar.” Yet, a recent analysis of the federal College Scorecard data and U.S. labor market trends finds that students who attend an industry-aligned, quality postsecondary technical educational institute are earning more, on average, after 10 years than their peers from some of the nation’s liberal arts colleges and two-year community colleges. Given these realities, it is important that we as a community break down the stereotypes and barriers for students interested in pursuing careers in skilled labor industries. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately 40 percent of students starting four-year colleges and 60-70 percent of students starting two-year colleges do not graduate. Created from the College Scorecard data, the report Preparing our Students for Career Success: What Parents Should Know analyzes how emerging and decades-old economic trends are affecting the American workforce. ” Read more…

It’s Your Time to Shine!

An interview is one of the most crucial moments in the hiring process, and it’s your chance to shine. Whether you’re studying to be in the hospitality industry or not, good tips on having a great job interview are ALWAYS welcome, right? We loved the recent video series Marriott produced on this subject, and we wanted to share!

“In this fun video, we show you how to prepare for your job interview at Marriott or any of our hotels. It’s your opportunity to tell your unique story and showcase your skills. We give you a preview of the types of information we want to learn about you and deliver some great tips for your readiness.”

For more great videos like this, you can visit the Marriott YouTube page.

And if you’d like even more resources on  mapping your career path, and finding job openings in various different fields, you can visit our partner, Express Employment Professionals Job Genius.

Mike Rowe: Our Nation’s CTE Advocate and Hero

Mike Rowe won our heart years ago with his dry sense of humor, his long suffering willingness to get a bit messy, and his dedication to the unsung heroes of skilled labor in the U.S. on the Discovery Channel’s show, “Dirty Jobs.” But have you been keeping up with his latest project? Advocating for Career and Technical Education is his true passion, and that’s what he’s taken all the way to Washington (again)…

Read what The 74 Million reports:

“Washington, D.C. – Maybe the third time will be the charm for Dirty Jobs TV host Mike Rowe.

The career education advocate and TV personality Tuesday made his third appearance at a congressional hearing since 2011, joining a House Education and Workforce subcommittee to discuss strengthening career and technical education as Congress prepares to consider a new bill on the issue.

Rowe’s message, as it was in past appearances before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee in 2011 and the House Natural Resources Committee in 2014, was simple: Career and technical education, and skilled trade professions, need a PR makeover.

“If you want to make America great again, you’ve got to make work cool again,” he said.

Before he broke through as the host of Dirty Jobs, which highlighted hazardous, arduous, and often disgusting jobs, Rowe was an opera singer as well as a TV host and narrator and salesman for the QVC home shopping network. He has since focused national activism around trades, and he launched the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, which provides scholarships to study skilled trades.

The House late last year passed bipartisan legislation reauthorizing the Carl D. Perkins Act, the primary federal initiative in career and technical training, giving about $1.1 billion annually to colleges and secondary schools. The bipartisan bill would have required states to better align career training programs with workforce needs, while cutting down on required paperwork and limiting federal impositions in the area.

It passed the House 405–5 but was not considered in the Senate. It was reportedly scuttled there over feuds with the Obama education department over implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Rep. Glenn Thompson, a Republican from Pennsylvania who was one of the sponsors of last year’s bill, said Tuesday that he would be reintroducing the legislation shortly.

Subcommittee chairman and Indiana Republican Todd Rokita said he is “very optimistic” about the chances of getting the bill signed into law but cognizant of the hard work ahead in persuading more students to consider career and technical education.

Rowe wasn’t the biggest name testifying at the Capitol Tuesday — Michael Phelps, the winningest Olympian ever, appeared before the Energy and Commerce Committee to discuss anti-doping measures in sports.

The increasing push to get nearly all students to graduate from a four-year college, even if doing so isn’t the best path for their needs and abilities, has come with “unintended consequences,” Rowe said.  

Parents and guidance counselors dissuade students from taking career and technical education classes, which are being dropped from many high schools. A career in a trade is seen as “some kind of vocational consolation prize,” creating a skills gap that leaves millions of jobs unfilled because workers aren’t trained to do them, he said.”  Read more…


Finding Scholarship Gold at the End of the Rainbow…

Whether you’re still in high school or already enrolled in a post-secondary school, you know that preparing for your future and training for a specialized skill isn’t cheap! And it’s the time of year every student starts thinking about how to fund the coming semester. But that’s where NTHS members have a leg up on the competition.

Since our inception in 1984, NTHS has awarded over $1.4 million in scholarships to deserving members, and this year alone, we’re giving over a quarter of a million dollars through our exclusive scholarship opportunities.

The Jon H. Poteat Scholarship

It was through the vision and inspiration of co-founders Jon and Patricia Poteat and C. Allen Powell that NTHS was established 33 years ago. Named in honor and memory of Jon Poteat, these scholarships are awarded annually to NTHS members who consistently exemplify our seven character attributes – Skill, Honesty, Service, Responsibility, Scholarship, Citizenship, and Leadership.

This scholarship opportunity is open to all current NTHS members who have not yet graduated, and in 2017, we’ll be awarding 225 of these scholarships to our well-deserving CTE students.

Apply now!

Your deadline to apply for the Jon H. Poteat scholarship is fast approaching. Applications will be accepted until midnight (EST) on April 20th, and once it’s closed, you’ll miss the opportunity to find your scholarship pot of gold. Log into our website today and apply!