My name is Lauren Best and I am an Ambassador and Student Council Member in the National Society of High School Scholars! I graduated from Coe-Brown Northwood Academy in New Hampshire this year. Being in the class of 2020 is something I will remember forever. While it wasn't the ending that I necessarily had envisioned for myself when I first started high school, I'm still glad I was able to graduate and get the necessary closure that I needed to start a new chapter in my life. Online learning was something that was new to everyone. I’m thankful that my teachers were able to handle it with grace and I was able to continue my education. I’m going to Saint Michael’s College to double major in Secondary Education and English and minor in journalism, media arts, and communications. My dream career is to be a high school English teacher and I'm excited to learn more about myself and the world around me.
A Little About Me- I’m Always Busy Exploring!
I've had several amazing opportunities to be involved in my high school and my community. I find it important to stay active and be busy. I love dancing and playing the flute in the band. I volunteer every week with the Wingman for Dance Foundation and participate in community service with the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth. This year, I was able to organize and host my own leadership seminar. Forty-four ambassadors from across the state of New Hampshire came to the seminar I held at my high school on February 8th and spent the day learning about the qualities of a leader. When I do have spare time, I enjoy photography, traveling, shopping, and watching movies.
What NSHSS Means to Me
One of the opportunities I’m most thankful for is being an active member in the National Society of High School Scholars. I became a member of NSHSS in my junior year. After doing some research, I learned that NSHSS was a great way to receive opportunities and tools to grow as a leader. NSHSS is all about giving its members, Ambassadors, Student Council Members, and educators the tools they need to be a catalyst for positive change in the community. To me, NSHSS represents the idea of developing leaders. There is a plentiful amount of resources right at the finger-tips of the students that carry through high school, college, and beyond. NSHSS can help with travel, internships, studying, college, and careers. Your NSHSS membership lasts a lifetime.
My Involvement With NSHSS
Being a member of NSHSS has been a life-changing experience. As a member, I found it important to talk to other NSHSS members and find ways to reach out and give back to my community. I took action and hosted multiple food drives in my town to help those in need. I held the drives over the span of three days for three hours each day. Peer volunteers from my school and I collected close to three hundred donated food items to give back to our local food pantry to help those who need meals. I wanted to continue my involvement with NSHSS and explore more opportunities. When I saw there was an Ambassador program, a circle of hard-working NSHSS members who wish to expand their involvement in NSHSS and their communities, I was eager to apply. The Ambassador program gives members more tools and opportunities to be immersed in the NSHSS experience and be engaged in their local surrounding communities. I wanted to become a member of the Ambassador program to explore more opportunities that lie within NSHSS and push myself to grow as a person. I was accepted and being an Ambassador of NSHSS has been an extremely rewarding experience. At my one-day leadership seminar I mentioned earlier, I talked about what it's like being an NSHSS Ambassador and the different ways I’ve been able to be involved with the program. The freshman participants became fascinated with NSHSS and wanted to explore it further as I explained the action I took as a member and Ambassador. It was an honor to share NSHSS with them and help build the Society with potential future members. As an Ambassador, I was involved with online seminars and conversations. I’ve done social media takeovers on and Snapchat for a day where I answer questions and get to know more people in the NSHSS community. One of my favorite NSHSS events has been the chat I had with two students from China. These two students were amazing to talk to. We talked for an hour about COVID-19, how it impacted our schooling, and what we hoped for the future. They had a lot to say about their schooling and aspirations for their future in regards to their education and careers. They talked about how they wanted to travel once COVID-19 ceases and make a change in their community by being there for others. From the experience, I took-away the importance of perseverance, reaching out to people frequently, and looking on the bright side of a tough situation by remaining positive. I enjoyed talking to international students and learning about their hopes to come to the United States and attend college. Talking with the two students put into perspective just how wide-spread this disease unfortunately is and how different places in the world were tackling COVID-19. Our conversation remained optimistic in a time of uncertainty and it was an honor to chat with amazing students twenty-three hours away from me.
Being an Ambassador has given me the tools to make connections with other people and learn how to network and communicate with others. Together, Ambassadors have started their own nonprofit organizations or education platforms. Ambassadors are active at rallies in their communities and helping educate others around them about daily topics. Ambassadors are one of the groups in NSHSS who are extremely active members. We take advantage of the educational and social tools NSHSS provides as well as finding or creating their own and sharing them with other Ambassadors. I’ve had the chance to meet with other strong-willed and powerful Ambassadors who are making a change in the community around them. All of us Ambassadors have a group chat together on an app called Slack where we talk every day about what we're doing in our communities to see a change. We are able to work together on projects even though we may be physically far apart from each other. This group chat is extremely helpful as we're able to communicate and bounce ideas off of one another. All the Ambassadors are involved and are very kind as well as anyone in NSHSS. The community is very welcoming and is something that I'm proud to be a part of.
What Winning the Ambassador Scholarship Means to Me
When it came to paying for college, I knew I was on my own. Being a one-income middle class family, I figured out how to get creative, use all of the resources I had, and explore more opportunities. NSHSS scholarships are available for all members to apply to. When I heard about the scholarship program, I applied to all the scholarships I was eligible for. I was most excited to apply for the Ambassador scholarship, which I’m very thankful to have received! Winning this scholarship is a very honorable reward for all of the work I have put into the Ambassador program. This scholarship significantly contributes to my first semester tuition of college. This helps me pay for my academic education and will allow me to take classes. While COVID-19 might have changed some guidelines of the college lifestyle, I’m very fortunate to be on campus in the fall. I’m excited to head into the college world and explore more around me academically. I never will stop learning new things. I’m thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to be an involved are working on ways to network with incoming NSHSS members and build a virtual community. We are discussing ways to assemble a virtual package for members to present them with NSHSS tools right off the bat and get them engaged in the Society. I will be representing the Student Council at the Virtual event and I’m very excited to meet new people and hear their ideas! Going forward into the future, I plan on bringing NSHSS with me into my English classroom and giving future leaders the resources and tools they need to be the change they wish to see. Remember to always stay involved and to take the time to help others around you. and represent the Society. I still continue my hard work as an Ambassador today. Most recently, I’m now a Student Council Member, a college student who represents excellence and achievement. I’m working with the Student Council Team to create more change in the NSHSS community and the world. Us