United Way & Volunteer Services of Greater Yankton recognizes the dedication and hard work of some of our community’s most active volunteers. It is special to work with a dedicated group of volunteers who are always willing to assist whenever there is a request for help. Because of their incredible work throughout the community, Yankton School District’s National Honor Society was recently presented with United Way & Volunteer Services of Greater Yankton’s Volunteer of the Month Award.
National Honor Society is a national organization that recognizes student achievement. This is an extraordinary group of students who continually volunteer their time for many agencies in our community. It is a student-led and student-driven Chapter in that all of their projects are selected by and carried out by the students.
“It is a beautiful thing to see young people so motivated to get out there and make a difference”, stated Yankton High School National Honor Society Advisor, Amy Reyes. “I am continuously amazed with my group’s willingness to provide service to their peers, the school, and the community. These students are our future and from where I’m standing, our future looks very bright!”
We asked a few members of the National Honor Society to tell us more about themselves and their extraordinary chapter.
We have been in the Yankton Area since:
The Yankton High School Chapter of NHS received its charter in 1960 and has been a vital part of YHS activities since then. Students with a 3.5 or above cumulative GPA are invited to apply for membership after completing 5 semesters (spring of their junior year). These student applications are then reviewed by a five-person faculty council and members are selected based upon their commitment to the four pillars upon which NHS was founded: scholarship, service, leadership, and character. Accepted members participate in a special induction ceremony and then are part of the group until high school graduation.
We began volunteering:
One of the factors the Faculty Council considers when students apply for membership into NHS is Community Service. Most of the students selected for induction have a history of volunteering from a very early age. Some members, however, began their volunteer experience when they were inducted. Membership in NHS is a great opportunity for students to see the needs in the community and how they can make a positive impact
We continue volunteering because:
"I continue volunteering because it's really rewarding, and it gives you a chance to get out there and meet new people. Also, it helps you make connections for your future. It's a great way to give back to your community. It makes me feel good. I benefit just as much from the experience as the people I'm serving." - Megan McCorkell
We volunteer at:
Some of the projects our group has undertaken this past year include: sponsoring a blood drive, volunteering twice a month at Majestic Bluffs, partnering with the public library for a free technology assistance program held every month, working with elementary students for coding club, volunteering at the "Step Forward to Prevent Suicide" Walk, coordinating a Thanksgiving food drive, cleaning the visitation room at River City Family Connections, helping set up United Way’s Make A Difference Day coat drive, helping area children choose free presents for their family members at "The Christmas Store," organizing events for character counts week, serving at the Banquet, volunteering at all of the local elementary school carnivals, helping Jr. K students with "center time," helping with Math is Fun, tutoring English Language Learners in elementary, middle, and high school, and tutoring peers in every subject offered at YHS.
Approximate hours per year that we volunteer:
All NHS members must volunteer at least 15 hours. Most students, however, volunteer anywhere from 30-60 hours throughout their membership in National Honor Society.
Volunteer work is enjoyable because:
"Volunteer work is enjoyable because you know that you're doing something good for others and making a positive impact on their lives." - Noel Kusek
"Volunteer work is enjoyable because you know that you're helping someone else to better their life." - Tia Vlasman
Our best volunteer experience was:
"My favorite volunteer experience has been the Step Forward Walk to Prevent Suicide because we saw how a community came together to bring awareness to an important issue." - Perla Chavez
The advice we would give to those thinking about getting out there and volunteering in their communities is:
“Just do it, because you won't regret it. The people you meet and the experiences you have will stay with you forever." - Megan McCorkell
"I would tell others that volunteering is beneficial because not only are you helping someone else grow, but you are also growing yourself and giving back to your community." - Noel Kusek
"Volunteering is not only important, but it makes you feel better about yourself and helps the other feel good. So it really is a win-win situation." - Tia Vlasman
Thank you YHS National Honor Society for being an inspiration for young people in Yankton. You are an incredible example of how UNITED WE WIN!
To learn more about how you can get involved and volunteer in our community, visit www.yanktonunitedway.org/volunteer.