Skip To Main Content

Logo Image

Logo Title

National Honor Society

National Honor Society Logo

National Honor Society


The National Honor Society (NHS) elevates a school’s commitment to the values of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. These four pillars have been associated with membership in the organization since its inception in 1921. Learn more about these four pillars of membership here.

Today, it is estimated that more than one million students participate in NHS activities. NHS chapters are found in all 50 states, US Territories, Canada, and around the world. Chapter membership not only recognizes students for their accomplishments, but challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service.

As such, NHS chapters and students are in schools that care not only about student achievement, but also community engagement.

NHS students and their peers volunteer in their communities at the highest rates and make connecting with and serving within the community a priority. The average chapter contributes:

  • 1,000 hours of school/community service
  • $26,000 in charitable donations
  • 1,000 pounds of food to local, state, and national causes
  • 100 pints of blood


The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) officially established NHS in 1921. Though many local and regional honor societies existed prior to 1921, no nationwide organization had been founded. Under the leadership of Dr. Edward Rynearson, principal of the Fifth Avenue High School in Pittsburgh, the organization grew from the original Alpha Chapter at the Fifth Avenue School to more than 1,000 chapters by 1930. Equipped with a constitution, an emblem and motto, and a group of dedicated principals as coordinators, the new NHS organization quickly developed into one of the country’s leading educational groups.

Advisor: Les Wheeler

NHS 100 Years


NHS Announces Pilot Program With

The National Honor Society is proud to support the newest program from our partner,, which helps students meet their volunteer hour requirements.

Backed by user testing and research to meet student and educator requirements needed to reward young people with official volunteer credits, the program aims to provide a new opportunity for the increasing number of high school students across the country who are looking to fulfill mandated volunteerism outreach. And with many schools transitioning to a more virtual learning environment, we are excited at the opportunity to continue to provide resources that support student leaders.

So, how does it work?

Out of the 300+ active campaigns on its site, DoSomething selected a group of high-impact projects that are eligible for volunteer credits when completed. And yes, this includes the ongoing Online Voter Registration Drive campaign!

Once a student completes one or more of the campaigns, they are prompted to upload a photo to DoSomething’s website to prove their involvement. A DoSomething staffer then approves their participation and awards a digital Certificate of Volunteering upon acceptance, which verifies their volunteer hours.

The hours awarded for each eligible campaign are based on the average time it takes for DoSomething members to complete that campaign, which is of no cost to young people.

For more information and how to get started, share this information with your students today!

Get Started