Pandemic affected completion of the National Junior Honor Society service hours 


Courtesy of Drishti Nishar

Drishti Nishar is virtually creating a lesson plan on April 23 for her dance class which she is assisting at to help students grow as dancers.

Students who are in the National Junior Honor Society worked hard to complete their service hours by May 7 by helping the community in ways not done before. 

“It is a learning experience,” said Drishti Nishar, an eighth-grader at RCMS.

The National Junior Honor Society, also known as NJHS, is a nationwide program at RCMS that promotes community service among students from grades eight through 12. Members must have a 3.5 GPA and keep up with the required amount of service hours. Due to the pandemic, the required number of service hours for NJHS has been decreased from 15 to five. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NJHS students have found new, innovative ways to help their community. They have taken advantage of these unprecedented times to spread positivity to others and help those in need.  

Kirtana Vootkur, an eighth-grader at RCMS, helped the community by packing care kits for the homeless. 

RCMS eighth-grader Chinmayee Lanka helped the community in a variety of ways during the pandemic. She wrote letters to medical workers and veterans that were working day and night to save people during the pandemic. 

In addition to this, she painted rocks with positive messages on them to spread positivity throughout her community. She felt that her experience completing service hours was extremely enlightening.   

Drishti completed her service hours by helping out at a painting event and helping teach at a dance class.

Drishti said, “The difference between completing service hours last year and this year was last year I had the opportunity to connect with my community, which I do not have this year.”

Vrishank Surkanti, a seventh-grader, thought service hours should not be required at all this year.

“Community service hours should not be mandatory because a lot of kids are still quarantining inside their house because of the pandemic,”  he said.

Other students disagreed.

Seventh-grader Ria Goel said, “If students are willing to, then by all means they should complete their hours in a safe manner.”

Kirtana feels that service hours are important since they help people get a feel of the outside world. She said that throughout her service hour experience, she learned the importance of serving her community. 

Drishti feels that her service hour experience allowed her to give back to the community and share her generosity with others. 

Riya Nagella, a seventh- grader at RCMS, offered suggestions for those still looking for ways to help. “For community service this year, I think making masks, donating books to shelters, and making get-well cards that would cheer up patients, would be a few things that I would do to help other people. “

Dhruti Sirigibathina, a ninth-grader at Langley High School and RCMS alumni, feels that NJHS students should “think big and get resources” when it comes to the completion of service hours. 

During her time in eighth grade, she volunteered in homeless shelters and helped in lunch serving, to help those in need. Druthi suggested that if she were in eighth grade, she would have done drives and funds for those who have been affected by the pandemic. 

“At first, it feels insignificant, but as you keep going you realize that a lot of people need help, and it becomes real,” Dhruti said. 

Mrs. Cynthia Burgett, a civics teacher at RCMS, said service hours guide one towards service to others, and make both the person who is being helped and the person who is helping someone a happier person overall. 

“Putting the common good above ourselves is fundamental for our community and our country,” she said.