On Saturday February 3, 2018, beginning around 6:00 pm today and ending at 10:23 pm, I wrote this reflection in response to a 6-question survey. What began as an intended quick survey response to the survey's 3 open-ended questions during an email-decluttering spree turned into an unintended free write of insightful reflection. In purpose, pray with me for every student struggling to afford an educational degree, pray with me for devoted volunteers in the field of education, and pray with me for the men and women who create and advance the works of academic societies.
Whether the advocate is an individual or a society...conventional wisdom reminds us that every advocate has good qualities that qualifies them to be an advocate.
- Destiny Jackson
Q: Why did you decide to join NSCS (National Society of Collegiate Scholars)?
I joined NSCS because I had all to gain and nothing to lose. Surprisingly, I never knew the NSCS existed until I received a mailed packet of recognition, congratulations, and membership invitation when I was a soon-to-be college sophomore!
Q: In your own words, what does it mean to you to be a member of NSCS?
Three words come to mind when I ponder on the meaning and embodiment of being a NSCS member: Growth. Graduation. Giving. As an undergraduate, NSCS membership fostered an opportunity to grow and learn when I socialized, engaged, and formed friendly bonds with other NSCS members during on-campus chapter meetings and events. Delightfully interacting in proximity to other NSCS members during on-campus chapter meetings and events cultivated positive academic socialization experiences. And in good outcome, these meetings and events enriched personal growth by positively stimulating the following: self-esteem, belongingness, and interpersonal skills.
Moving from growth to graduation, being a member of NSCS meant that I belonged to a society that established remarkable B2B relationships so that myself and other students are financially-supported if tuition-covering roadblocks arose. One example that crystallizes
NSCS's remarkable establishment of B2B relationships is NSCS's commitment to providing donor-funded scholarships in aim to reward academic grit and achievement. For an example, I identify the NSCS-Geico Award
as a donor-funded scholarship that exemplifies one out of many B2B relationships, where GEICO is the donor that NSCS has established a B2B relationship with. So in my eyes, NSCS is a society that advocates for students. Whether the advocate is an individual or a society, like NSCS,
conventional wisdom reminds us that every advocate has good qualities that qualifies them to be an advocate. In terms of qualification, I think NSCS is a qualified advocate for students because the society is involved, active, and resourceful, especially in times of struggle and need. Let me share a contextual anecdote: There was a time in college when I struggled with paying a $2,000-$5,000 tuition balance. This meant that I was only $2,000-$5,000 away from being forced to drop out of college. During this time, I distinctly remember experiencing perceived failure and hopelessness. My personal dream of graduating from college became partially diminished in the midst of financial uncertainty. But in positive implication, earning NSCS scholarships played a supporting role in ensuring that college graduation became a reality for me, rather than a diminished dream.
Transitioning now from graduation to giving, NSCS membership embodies giving because the lifetime membership welcomes a relationship of reciprocity. Here's how the relationship of reciprocity works for me: When I was a NSCS member earning a college degree, NSCS gave to me and now that I am a NSCS alumni member who has earned a college degree, I have the opportunity to give to other current NSCS students earning their college degrees, too. Here is an example: NSCS alumni membership facilitates an opportunity for me to give my time and attention to reviewing scholarship applications for other high-achieving and deserving NSCS undergrads. A few months ago, I did just that from July 2017 - October 2017. I felt so fulfilled. In this way, NSCS membership intrinsically and extrinsically nurtures giving.
All in all, I aspire that my reflection to the prompt question shed effective light on the three words that come to mind when I personally ponder on the meaning and embodiment of being a NSCS member: Growth. Graduation. Giving.
Q: Where do you find the most value through your participation with NSCS?
I find the most value through participation with NSCS from giving back to other high-achieving students across the nation by volunteering as a NSCS Alumni scholarship reviewer. As an undergraduate, NSCS scholarships acted as a hand-up, rather than a hand-out during financially-crippling semesters. In positive implication, NSCS scholarships aided in reversing the possible devastation of me becoming forced to drop out of college because of rising tuition costs and depleting financial aid. As a result, I find intrinsic joy and purpose in reviewing scholarship applications for other deserving NSCS students so that they too can become many steps closer to the irrevocably-achieved accomplishment of graduating from college.