On Saturday, December 6, NSHSS hosted its annual Carter Center Holiday Member Event at The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Over 400 NSHSS members, parents, and educators gathered to participate in workshops held by No Bully and the Central Intelligence Agency, to attend the member recognition event, participate in the NSHSS College Panel, and to attend the NSHSS College Fair. Students attending the CIA workshop received information about high school preparation, internships, scholarships, and career opportunities within the CIA, while parents and educators learned about emerging forms of intimidation thriving among millennials and bullying prevention. At the NSHSS College Fair, NSHSS members met with representatives from top universities, companies, and organizations, such as AFS-USA, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, Vanderbilt University, The Ohio State University, and Spelman College.
The member recognition program began with a welcome by NSHSS President Jim Lewis. Alan Nevel, Vice President of Global Diversity & Inclusion at Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Mark Powell, Diplomat-in-Residence for the U.S. Department of State, followed, providing brief congratulatory remarks as well as information regarding student opportunities available within their respective organizations. Scholarship Director Dr. Susan Thurman recognized six scholarship recipients and also awarded the NSHSS Educator of the Year, Eric Thiel, of Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, California, as well as two of the Top Ten Educators of the Year--Shane Scott, of the Jerusalem School in Israel, and Erin Smith, of Spring Ridge Academy in Spring Valley, Arizona.
Serving as the keynote speaker, NSHSS Cofounder and Chairman Mr. Claes Nobel began his address by prompting the students to become the generation that enforces positive change throughout the world. By instructing students to self-improve “right here, right now,” Mr. Nobel explained the domino effect of benevolence. He encouraged members of NSHSS to begin with themselves, then their school and community; and one day, they will have made as great of an impact as the recipients of the 2014 Claes Nobel World Betterment Award. NSHSS Vice President Beth Pann presented the Claes Nobel World Betterment Award to Laura Turner Seydel, Chairperson of the Captain Planet Foundation, while Dr. William E. Evans, former President and CEO of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, accepted their awards via video messages. All of the honorees echoed the encouraging words of Mr. Nobel –that NSHSS members are equipped to learn, lead, and change the world.