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home : education : education Friday, May 24, 2019

2/23/2017 2:02:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
HCPA Launches National Honor Society Chapter

By Dave Bonko

Caption: Members of Hmong College Prep Academy's first National Honor Society Chapter include (left to right): First Row-Xue Yang, Ler Pwe Say, Ku K Mui Paw, Koussy Yang, Khula Yang, Ta Si Si, Vang Xiong, Pa Chang Vang. Second Row-Cindy Vang, Mindy Lee, Pamitta Lee, Michelle Thao, Nancy Yang, Marry Htoo, Naw Yin, Shoua Vang. Third Row-Jimeng Moua, Phillip Moua, Johnny Xiong, Jason Vang, Eh Soe, Pao Vue, Ken Vang. Also pictured: College and Scholarship Manager Toni Mari O'Daniel, 6-12 Director of Teaching and Learning Danijela Duvnjak and NHS Faculty Adviser Morgan McLaughlin
Hmong College Prep Academy was recently approved to begin an official chapter of the National Honor Society, NHS, the nation's premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students.

Founded in 1921, NHS membership is founded on Four Pillars:

• Scholarship based on a strong commitment to learning

• Service, working without compensation or recognition to benefit those in need

• Leadership, demonstrating initiative through serving in lead roles of a project or group

• Character, as shown by making good decisions based on respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, caring and citizenship in all actions

HCPA 6-12 Director of Teaching and Learning Danijela Duvnjak is very excited about being awarded an NHS chapter.

"An honor such as this is a wonderful way for the school and community to recognize and celebrate the choices, and sometimes the sacrifices made by our students. They excel in academics; however, that is only a part of the reason they are here. Being involved in NHS helps to provide a fire inside that drives a student to give; to give their time."

HCPA NHS Faculty Adviser Morgan McLaughlin echoed Danijela's sentiments.

"As a national organization with a strong reputation, NHS gives our students who go above and beyond the national recognition they deserve. Academically, there are a number of colleges and universities that give preferential placemen to NHS members. Membership also requires students to do at least one service learning project each year. This year, we're looking to participate in the Polar Plunge, a fundraiser on behalf of Minnesota Special Olympics."

Mr. McLaughlin outlined the NHS approval process.

"It took about three years to get approval for an NHS chapter at HCPA. The application process took a lot of time and required a great deal of information...our final proposal was 15 pages. We had to get a council of teachers together to finalize rules and bylaws as well as the student selection process. Though the process was very involved and time consuming, it was definitely worth the work."

HCPA students are very aware of NHS's prestige and many are looking forward to the benefits offered from being a member. Some felt a strong sense of community pride from being accepted.

"Being a member of the National Honor Society shows the Hmong people are developing and doing what everyone else can," stated HCPA junior and new NHS member Phillip Moua. "Being a part of this organization will bring me great opportunities and help me on my path to achieving my goals in life."

Added junior Jason Vang, "My family never had the chance to do this. Having National Honor Society is a big step towards opening our school to the larger community. It shows what kind of students we are."

Hmong College Prep Academy is located at 1515 Brewster Street in St. Paul, just southeast of the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. For more information about HCPA programming or directions to the school, interested students and parents can call 651-209-8002 or online at www.hcpak12.org.

St. Paul, MN



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