Tuba City High National Honor Society provides holiday support

Tuba City High School has one of the largest numbers of National Honor Society members on the Navajo or Hopi reservations. Effie Hyden, a teacher at Tuba City High School, has been the organization sponsor for more than ten years. Rosanda Suetopka/NHO

Tuba City High School has one of the largest numbers of National Honor Society members on the Navajo or Hopi reservations. Effie Hyden, a teacher at Tuba City High School, has been the organization sponsor for more than ten years. Rosanda Suetopka/NHO

TUBA CITY, Ariz. — Tuba City High National Honor Society (NHS) students give all year to their community by hosting food donation drives, litter pick up and weekly reading tutoring to elementary level students at their local schools.

But this time of the year, the NHS students wanted to focus on their own age group and students who they felt deserved a special hug of holiday recognition by individually donating a gift kit to other students at their high school.

They said it is their hope that they might bring some holiday cheer to students whose parents or guardians might be having financial struggles at home or maybe might not even otherwise get a gift on Christmas day.

These gift kits are purchased by the individual NHS student themselves and not through fundraising in the community.

The kits are an unselfish way to give something of their own with their own money, to help another student.

National Honor Society is built on the four pillars of citizenship and also maintaining a high GPA at their local school to become member.

The four pillars are: scholarship, leadership, service and character.

Tuba City High School NHS members will complete a total of 40 hours of community service by the end of the school year with 12 plus hours that will be devoted to reading tutor mentorship.

National Honor Society was nationally recognized and established in 1921 by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and Tuba City High has been a proud organization sponsor since 1971.

Effie Hyden, the Tuba City High School sponsor of NHS, has been especially pleased with the high number of members at Tuba City High and is constantly encouraging her students to think of others who might need a helping hand or a word of encouragement to boost some additional confidence in other students.

“Its pretty easy to get them to do this because in a Native family oriented community like Tuba City and Moencopi, a lot of those values are already incorporated into our two cultures,” Hyden said. “But these students are really serious about helping out, making a difference and it makes my sponsorship that much easier. I am very proud of them.”

Each kit is donated entirely from each NHS member and contains toiletry items like shampoo, hair conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush as well as a brand new colorful bath towel, and a special surprise item like a book or a calculator along with some food specialty snacks.

The NHS student also gift wraps the kit and delivers it to TCHS Registrar Rita Adson and Adson helps to identify students who might need the gift packages.

Adson lets the selected student know to come to the front office to receive the NHS gift kit and the kit is delivered.

Marison Bilagody age 17, a senior and president of the TCHS- NHS group said he is especially interested in the four pillars of the organization and hopes that after he graduates and is in college that he will always think of how to help out.

“The activities we have really makes me think about how lucky I am and that there is always someone that might need some extra help that I can do something about on my own,” Bilagody said.

Shalby Del Villar, age 17, a senior has been a member of NHS since her junior year.

“At the end of my junior year, I could really understand what it meant to give to others in the areas of citizenship and leadership,” Del Villar said. “Now it makes me feel really good to know I can help out in my own way.”

Chelsea Nez, age 17, also a senior, has been in TCHS-NHS since her sophomore year. She said that is has been a good challenge to be in NHS.

“Not just to keep up my GPA which is a motivator to get solid grades so I can get a good scholarship for college, but the GPA requirements along with the community service has really been rewarding,” Nez said. “Plus it’s a lot of fun to work with other students to help in the community.”

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