National Honor Society holds service fair


Vijay Bharadwaj

Students spoke to representatives from organizations that provide service opportunities for high school students. The Service Fair took place on Sept. 29 in Nichols.

by Vijay Bharadwaj and Jenna Sadhu

Students attended a service fair organized by involvement from the Harker community, Harker National Honor Society (NHS) and Key Club which held organizations that set up booths to recruit students for service, on Sept. 29 in Nichols Hall.

NHS piloted the service fair in April last school year, and its success moved NHS to include other organizations at the event.

“It’s something I’ve seen done in other schools,” said upper school biology teacher and NHS advisor Mike Pistacchi. “We got a little pilot fair last [school] year with 10 organizations in the spring. Eventually, we got in touch with [Kerry] Enzensperger and teamed up with the school’s community and made this happen. I want the organizations to connect with the volunteers, and I want the students to explore the different types of service.”

NHS held several organizations that presented to students to recruit volunteers. Many organizations, including the Outdoor Science School in Santa Cruz, involves tutoring.

“What we look for is high school students to be mentors for younger students,” Outdoor Science School cabin leader coordinator Ben Hammon said. “As a cabin leader, you’re responsible for 10-plus students and get to know them and do activities with them. A lot of students seem to know us, which is great, and it’s been very welcoming.”

Several students set up booths for their own organizations, such as senior Parth Pendurkar’s program Kidz Kode.

“Kidz Kode is about teaching kids to code on a fundamental level,” Parth said. “It’s a super easy way to get kids into programming. So far, we have a couple dozen volunteers, and we have spoken to a couple hundred students.”

The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an organization that feeds lunch to underprivileged kids in India.

“We put together fundraisers, which is the best way to earn money and we have been feeding around 1.5 children a day across 24 cities and 10 states,” club organizer Aarzu Gupta (9) said. “We’ve got more [signups] than we’ve expected.”

Students walked around the service fair, looking at each booth and deciding which ones to join.

“I signed up for the Forbes community service,” Daulet Tuleubayev (11) said. “It’s a great way to get community service hours, and they pay you. I also do it for the kids.”

The induction ceremony for new Harker NHS members took place last Tuesday.

This piece was originally published in the pages of The Winged Post on October 10, 2016.