NHS benefits Yutan students and community

Singing carols at nursing homes and doing fundraisers for research foundations. These are just a few things students who are a part of the National Honor Society (NHS) can do.

One of the 18 members Kendyl Egr said, “The NHS has really opened my eyes…I now really appreciate the people who volunteer in their spare time because it isn’t always the easiest or most appealing work.” This is Egr’s first year being on NHS, and she has been to many of the fundraisers. 

NHS members show off the canned goods collected from the Yutan community. In back (from left to right) are Seth Janecek, Kaden Hufstedler, Carter Tichota, Will Elgert, Sam Petersen, and Brady Timm. In front are Mia Dyer, Christina Kerkman, Kaitlyn Bisaillon, Haley Bedlan, Kendyl Egr, Mya Hays, Heidi Krajicek, and Hayley Witte. (Courtesy photo)

The National Honor Society has a lot to offer for everyone who is involved.

Ginger Eikmeier, the National Honor Society’s advisor, said that membership in NHS gives the students an edge because of the National Honor Society’s four pillars: scholarship, character, leadership, and service. These are all qualities colleges are looking for in their students. The NHS just opens the door to more scholarships and college opportunities. 

Junior Haley Bedlan recognizes that NHS will help her get into college. She said, “It helps me to represent my school and will help get me scholarships and getting into schools.”

The National Honor Society is big on leadership and volunteering. “I think the activities we do also help the students continue to develop their leadership skills and hopefully instill a lifelong habit of serving others,” Eikmeier said. 

Egr said one of the reasons she joined the National Honor Society was to have more volunteer opportunities. “My favorite part is physically going out and helping people and doing things as a big group because it’s a new experience and to bring a group of people who don’t always associate themselves with each other is really cool,” Egr said.

The National Honor Society, though limited this year due to COVID, has done a lot to better the community. At the beginning of the year they sold pink bracelets to raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, they collected canned food for LifeHouse Family Service, they went to an Open Door Mission diaper unloading party, and so much more. 

Instead of going to the elementary school and helping the students with crafts, because of COVID, the NHS made craft kits for the elementary students for Christmas and Valentine’s Day. When the kids were finished, the NHS donated the door hangers and valentines to six of the surrounding nursing homes.

Juniors Heidi Krajicek, Haley Bedlan, and Christina Kerkman attach labels wishing the assisted living residents a happy Valentine’s Day. (Courtesy photo)

Eikmeier said, “When I dropped them off, more than one of the employees I gave them to said the residents would be more than thrilled to have them.” 

The work they do has benefited the assisted living community. 

“On Saturday (February 13) when I dropped the valentines off at one of the nursing homes in Elkhorn, there was a lady whose dad is in their memory care center and was dropping something off at the same time.  When she heard I was dropping off valentines that students had made for the residents, she had tears in her eyes when she told me how much her dad would love that.” Eikmeier said, “It’s moments like that tell me that what we are doing really makes a difference, even though our involvement might look a little different this year.”

The National Honor Society not only helps the people they’re associated with but the community and everyone involved. 

“It’s like being a part of a family,” Bedlan said, “I want to be known in the community for making it better.”