Silver Star of Excellence: Central Arizona Valley Institute of Technology

NTHS is committed to the recognition of excellence in every arena of career and technical education – student achievement, community service, outstanding chapters, and contributions from business, industry, and educational professionals. We encourage our members to get  involved outside their classroom, and every once in a while, we notice a chapter that really goes above and beyond that call.  That’s why we have the Silver Star of Excellence Outstanding Chapter Award.

The focus of this national award is to recognize NTHS chapters that maintain an active chapter based upon our seven core attributes; skill, scholarship, honesty, service, responsibility, citizenship and leadership… With that being said, we’d like to introduce you to the chapter at Central Arizona Valley Institute of Technology (CAVIT).

This year, the NTHS chapter at CAVIT participated in the “Run, Hide, Fight Community Service Project.”

CAVIT’s local newspapers The Florence Reminder and the Blade Tribune report:

“The NTHS chapter partnered with our Medical Assistant program, instructed by Jeffrey Wooley and West Elementary School to provide ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ education,” Martinez said. “These eight visits to Diane Self-Thompson’s fourth grade class focused on lessons in childhood obesity, proper nutrition, appropriate exercise, cleanliness, healthcare prevention, and bullying.”

The lessons were aligned to Self-Thompson’s fourth grade curriculum, making the partnership a win-win situation for all.

 “CAVIT students traveled to West Elementary weekly to present the lessons, along with activities such as making a fun, healthy snack, playing a soccer game, and more,” Martinez said. “The partnership ended with Ms. Self-Thompson’s class visiting CAVIT to take a ‘final test’ and to tour the campus.”

Martinez explained it is “truly an honor to earn the Silver Star of Excellence award, since CAVIT does strive to provide quality community service through our clinics and other activities.”

CAVIT staff saw partnering with Self-Thompson’s class as a natural fit – a sentiment Wooley echoed.

“The location is close, but even more so these fourth graders get to learn valuable health information from a high school role model,” Wooley said.

Thank you for making such an amazing difference in your community!

Silver Star of Excellence: St. Clair County Technical Education Center

NTHS is committed to the recognition of excellence in every arena of career and technical education – student achievement, community service, outstanding chapters, and contributions from business, industry, and educational professionals. We encourage our members to get  involved outside their classroom, and every once in a while, we notice a chapter that really goes above and beyond that call.  That’s why we have the Silver Star of Excellence Outstanding Chapter Award.

The focus of this national award is to recognize NTHS chapters that maintain an active chapter based upon our seven core attributes; skill, scholarship, honesty, service, responsibility, citizenship and leadership… With that being said, we’d like to introduce you to the chapter at St. Clair County Technical Education Center.

Apparently St. Clair TEC is pretty well known in their community, not only for their workforce skills, but also their commitment to helping others in their community. Throughout the year, they’ve held numerous fund raisers and food and clothing drives, including a “Polar Bear Plunge,” where they raised over $4,500 for children in need by taking a dip into the 40 degree waters of Lake Huron this past December. We are so very proud of their creativity and compassion! Take a look at their story:

 

Silver Star of Excellence: South Georgia Technical College

NTHS is committed to the recognition of excellence in every arena of career and technical education – student achievement, community service, outstanding chapters, and contributions from business, industry, and educational professionals. We encourage our members to get  involved outside their classroom, and every once in a while, we notice a chapter that really goes above and beyond that call.  That’s why we have the Silver Star of Excellence Outstanding Chapter Award.

The focus of this national award is to recognize NTHS chapters that maintain an active chapter based upon our seven core attributes; skill, scholarship, honesty, service, responsibility, citizenship and leadership… With that being said, we’d like to introduce you to the chapter at South Georgia Technical College.

These guys have been involved pretty much all year long to better their community and the world around them, and we could honestly not be any prouder of them! Take a look at their story:

We are so thrilled and honored to share your story with the rest of the world! You guys really are what makes NTHS such an amazing, world-changing organization!

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 http://www.ed.gov/psp.

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 tblack@nths.org, 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.

5.
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.

8.
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.

LEGIT OR NOT?

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…