Vidal guides NHS through challenging year

NHS+Officers+Ifrad+Khan%2C+Catherine+Cavanaugh%2C+Stacy+Liang%2C+Siddhi+Date%2C+Jadie+Ferrell%2C+and+Gabriel+Chang+sit+on+the+front+steps+of+NPHS+with+their+new+Advisor%2C+Sr.+Alejandro+Vidal

Peyton Lugo

NHS Officers Ifrad Khan, Catherine Cavanaugh, Stacy Liang, Siddhi Date, Jadie Ferrell, and Gabriel Chang sit on the front steps of NPHS with their new Advisor, Sr. Alejandro Vidal

It seemed to be bleak. Months of searching, many people who were offered denied, students were worrying, no one knew what to expect.

That’s when Sr. Alejandro Vidal decided he had to take the position of Advisor for the National Honor Society.

It wasn’t the first time Vidal had been offered the position. He originally thought someone else would be more than happy to take the position, and wanted to give anyone else the opportunity. But when that didn’t happen, he had to step in.

“It didn’t even cross my mind at first. I just thought anyone else would take it. But when no one else did after months, and Catherine [Cavanaugh] asked me about it again, I had to do it. I felt like I had to do it for the kids,” Vidal explained.

The students are what set NHS apart from other clubs at North Penn. Not just anyone can get in. A student must have a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale, show a willingness to volunteer, demonstrate leadership, and show good character. A very strict process indeed, but one that is needed to protect the integrity of the organization. It is these students who work hard every day; working to get fundraisers set up, participating in community service, and representing North Penn to the highest possible degree.

“When you work with such a dedicated group of students, and when you see them working and trying their best, not for themselves, but working to see what they can do for their peers, it makes me realize how dedicated this generation of students are. It really makes me hopeful for the future of this country,” Vidal remarked.

When you work with such a dedicated group of students, and when you see them working and trying their best, not for themselves, but working to see what they can do for their peers, it makes me realize how dedicated this generation of students are.”

— National Honor Society advisor, Sr. Alejandro Vidal

Trying to coordinate meetings with people is usually not easy, and this was no different for the NHS. In previous years, the organization has been used to in-person meetings, talking face to face, and being able to have open lines of communication in person. The pandemic has changed this, and while it has not been easy, Vidal has still been able to keep the machine running smoothly.

“I think the most difficult part was trying to make sure students were able to get enough information at the beginning to apply [for NHS], and making sure that they realize NHS is not a club, it is an academic organization. You apply, and based on your qualifications you can get accepted,” Vidal explained. “It wasn’t very easy to communicate as it has in previous years. Not being able to do the face-to-face meetings and gatherings have been one of the most challenging situations.”

It is not any easier to set up specific fundraisers to help the community. Yet, not only did the NHS execute these fundraisers, they broke records. They raised $8,000 dollars with the various fundraisers they did, which included “The Giving Tree.” While this was an optional fundraiser, many people participated, and it had great benefits as a result. The fundraiser helped people in the community get scholarships, exposed children to different career opportunities, as donating a portion of the money raised to various charities throughout the community.

“It felt good to help so many people, especially in the times we are in. I’m happy we could make a difference,” NHS President Catherine Cavanaugh said.

A new adviser, a pandemic, a long period of uncertainty, and the NHS did not stop. The organization excelled. And the members represent North Penn to the highest degree. They always have and will continue to make an impact in the community.