Broadcast student Clark Dalton sits down with NHS President Mia Haraguchi to inform students about the purpose and future projects associated with the organization.
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NHS President Senior Mia Haraguchi
“I’m a senior here at DSHS. I’m involved in track, cross country, Spanish Honors Society, National Honors Society, Student Council, Team Club, Enrich Club, Young Democrats Club, and Sock Club. And, I like to bake in my free time.”
Share some of your high school accomplishments, specifically those most meaningful to you.
“Sophomore year, I placed fourth at state with my cross country team. That was a really good moment for me and kind of a climax for the whole season. More recently this summer, I participated in a research internship at The University of Texas, studying a gene called DAX35, so that was really a great experience and an introduction to what college might be like.”
Explain what NHS represents as a group.
“It’s mostly a service-based organization. Our four key principles are character, honor, leadership and service, so that’s kind of what our activities are based around. And, we really just focus on giving back to the community and working with other organizations to coordinate community service projects, fundraisers, donations, stuff like that. We have a fall project, we have a blood drive in the spring and fall, and we have a spring project as well, and each member completes an individual service project. So, they’re working with a small group or just by themselves to complete some kind of community service activity.”
Why is this membership important?
“It’s really about getting leadership skills and working with other people who are ambitious and like-minded to just kind of develop your skills as a leader and as a member of the high school. So, it’s focused on learning to employ the four key principles I mentioned earlier. It’s really a great opportunity to work with other people, gain leadership experience, and have community service opportunities.”
Why did you want to run for president?
“So, I was in NHS as a junior as well. And, I thought it was a really great experience. I learned a lot from the people I was in it with and from the project I did. And, I knew lots of the officers who were officers when I was a junior, and they only had positive things to say. I had lots of ideas for the club. I thought I could really help make it a better organization.”
What are some of the specific tasks you fill as a president?
“So, my only official responsibility per the chapter bylaws is to preside over meetings, but I also coordinate projects with other officers. I’ll be in charge of the spring and fall blood drives and the spring service project. So, it’s basically coordinating projects, making sure things are operating smoothly, and thinking of new ideas for making the club more accessible.”
What are the key factors to address with incoming high school students if they wish to partake in NHS?
“Definitely focus on community service and leadership, not just grades. They are important, but scholarship is only one of the four qualities that we are looking for. So, make sure you are really putting yourself out there, experiencing new things, getting involved in clubs and organizations, and really building up leadership opportunities, because that’s something lots of people overlook, but it’s really important on the application. So, if you’re interested in applying, make sure you’re focusing on that as well.”
How do you plan to impact the community?
“So, this year, especially, we’re focusing on really broadening our reach. In the spring, our service project is with Community First, and we’re working to build houses for mentally challenged and chronically homeless disabled people in Austin. So, we’re going to be helping with that – just kind of expanding outside of Dripping Springs to the larger community. We’re also sponsoring Tiger Talks this November which is like Ted Talks given by students and faculty members. So, we’re hoping to reach out to younger students as well and just inspire people and get them really excited about high school and about NHS and the whole community.”
What are some other ideas or goals you plan to add or achieve as the leader?
“Working more closely with other groups on campus. For example, just two weeks ago, we worked with student council and helped out at the Hurricane Harvey Relief drive. We contributed a lot of members, and I hope it was helpful. So, we’re just working on coordinating those kind of efforts – maybe organizing some joint service projects, so we can accomplish more than we could individually. And, again, just community outreach [and] different projects. We’re just really hoping to make NHS more accessible and make sure that everyone in the community can feel impacted by what we’re doing.”