National Achievement Awards

National Junior Honor Society award winners
By: Todd Martin
Already top-notch scholars and citizens, three Patterson Middle School eighth-graders earned national attention for their volunteerism and leadership qualities.
Patterson Librarian Sherry Everett, advisor for the school’s National Junior Honor Society said many of her 45 members accumulated impressive service hours, but three distinguished themselves above the rest.
Eighth-graders Bryana Saulter, Marisol Tovar and Faith Everett are National Junior Honor Society Outstanding Achievement Award winners. Their award included a $500 award placed in a college savings account.
Saulter recorded more than 90 hours of service during the school year, while Everett went over 130 hours and Tovar logged more than 200 hours of service. They also submitted essays about the importance of citizenship.
Each student chose different areas to serve and all included hours that the school’s honor society chapter served in monthly projects throughout the school year. The chapter recorded more than 2,000 volunteer service hours this school year.
Sixteen of the Patterson students earned the Presidential Volunteer Service Award.
The National Junior Honor Society Honor that the three Patterson students earned included academic, leadership, service and character requirements. Everett required her students to serve a minimum of 75 hours for consideration of the national distinction.
“Volunteering enriches your life by giving to others,” Everett said. “It starts at home and at school and once you’re in high school and can drive you can decide where to serve.”
The three award-winners from Patterson had no trouble finding opportunities.
Tovar said she helped out in the school library before and after school and at another library in the community during the summer. She also taught children at a dance studio where she takes lessons and in her church.
Saulter said she did a lot of babysitting for friends and volunteered at a day care center in the summer.
Everett worked in the library before school and assisted teachers after school, assisted with school musical productions and volunteered at an elementary school carnival.
“I think it’s a good basis for being a good person,” said Faith Everett. “You learn to help others even if you don’t benefit personally. You learn you don’t always get something in return. You learn to treat others nicely.”
“I liked teaching at church and the dance studio,” said Tovar. “I know I was able to teach religion and dance, which are important to me.”
All three students said their time in National Junior Honor Society helped build character and meet new people and learn about the community and its needs.
“You don’t have to look far to help someone,” said Everett, the group advisor. “You can start small and build up to get into the community. These students have a heart to serve others.”