Jenny Rodriguez of Orange High School wins prestigious National Honor Society scholarship

ORANGE, NJ - Jenny Rodriguez, a senior at Orange High School in Orange, NJ, has been selected as the 2018 national winner of the prestigious National Honor Society (NHS) Scholarship. Selected from among more than 15,000 applicants, Rodriguez received the award at a surprise announcement at her school attended by NHS officials, Orange Schools Deputy Superintendent Dr. Paula Howard, and her fellow NHS members.

While maintaining a high GPA, Rodriguez holds many school and community leadership positions, including vice president of NHS, and is a youth group leader and catechist for young children at her local parish, for which the Archdiocese of Newark awarded her the Youth Recognition Award. Rodriguez has been a driving force behind some of the chapter's most ambitious giving efforts, including offering countless hours after school crafting handmade blankets for sale and for contribution to Project Linus, a nonprofit organization that provides warm blankets to the children who need them. That service illustrates a point that particularly impressed the selection committee: Rodriguez’s commitment to improving her local area both now and in her intended career—seeking to lift the unfair stigma applied to Orange and build on its strengths. Her vision is not to be a lone voice of change, but to study politics and law, then empower her neighbors to be their own voices for change.

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“A fire ignited in me to become part of the change in our nation,” Rodriguez said in her application essay. “I am not only eager to remove the stigma in Orange; I am determined to change the stigma against minorities who survive despite all obstacles.”

“Jenny is an extraordinary young adult who dreams of nothing less than changing her world, beginning in her own backyard—and she dares to begin that journey now rather than waiting her turn as an adult,” said JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, parent organization of NHS. “Jenny embodies all that the National Honor Society represents—scholarship, character, leadership, and service—that principals seek to develop in all students.”

Every year, NHS grants more than $1.5 million in scholarships to NHS member students. From a pool of more than 15,000 applicants, 475 national semifinalists receive a $2,850 scholarship, then 24 national finalists are awarded $5,150. From that group, one national winner is selected to receive $22,650. The NHS Scholarship program has awarded more than $14 million since its inception in 1946.

For more information about the NHS Scholarship program, visit www.nhs.us/students/the-nhs-scholarship/. 

About NHS

The National Honor Society (NHS) is the nation’s premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students. More than just an honor roll, NHS serves to recognize those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. These characteristics have been associated with membership in the organization since its beginning in 1921. Today, more than one million students participate in NHS activities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, many U.S. territories, and Canada. Chapter membership not only recognizes students for their accomplishments, but challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service.

About NASSP

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and voice for principals and other school leaders across the United States. NASSP seeks to transform education through school leadership, recognizing that the fulfillment of each student's potential relies on great leaders in every school committed to the success of each student. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Student Council.