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California Student Wins Top National Honor Society Award

Reston, VA — Chosen from nearly 17,000 applicants, the National Honor Society (NHS) named Ella Mayor, a senior at Santa Susana High School in Simi Valley, CA, the $25,000 National Honor Society Scholarship winner. NHS is supported by its parent organization, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), which also administers the National Association of Student Councils.

“This scholarship means more than just money for college,” said Ella. “It represents an honor bestowed to my small public school in Simi Valley, my parents who immigrated from the Philippines in search of a better life for me in America and humble recognition of the hard work I’ve put in throughout high school. As a first-generation Filipino American, I will never forget the support NHS has provided me in my journey to achieving a healthier, more equitable future for generations to come.”

From a pool of 16,697 applicants, Ella distinguished herself as a dedicated volunteer, public speaker and healthcare advocate. A resident of Simi Valley, she has served as president of Santa Susana High School's NHS chapter for two years, and she has collaborated with the nonprofit, Forever Found, to donate clothing to trafficked children in India, Thailand and Ethiopia. Ella's leadership extends to various school organizations, including STEM for Girls Excelling in Math and Science (GEMS), HOSA-Future Health Professionals, National Ethics Bowl and peer tutoring. She works more than 25 hours a week in a CVS pharmacy, and she works as a private tutor. She also enjoys speaking about groundbreaking research alongside UCLA professors at annual stem cell and neuroscience symposiums. As Chief Medical Officer of the Ventura County Medical Explorer Foundation, she helped partner with Safe Passage to volunteer in mobile vaccine clinics located in underserved areas. In 2024, she was named "Student of the Year" by Rotary International.

NHS awarded more than $2 million in scholarships to 600 high school seniors this year. Four of the top finalists were awarded a $10,625 scholarship for embodying the pillars of NHS membership: Scholarship, Service, Leadership and Character. The recipients of these awards are Elizabeth Djajalie from Juneau, AK, for Scholarship; Chase Hartman from Tampa, FL, for Service; Jensen Coonradt from Oswego, IL, for Leadership; and Aadya Gattu from Warrington, PA, for Character. Twenty finalists received $5,625 and the national winner received $25,000.

"These NHS scholarship winners are leaving behind an incredible legacy as they embark on their next adventure,” said NASSP CEO Ronn Nozoe. "Throughout their time in NHS, they’ve tackled challenges from child trafficking to health literacy, published critical work including poems, research and a children’s book, and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for worthy causes. Their tremendous efforts reflect what NHS is all about."

The announcement is part of NASSP’s Trailblazing Leadership Week, bringing together the 2024 State Assistant Principals of the Year and the NHS Scholarship finalists to celebrate their accomplishments and connect with one another. NASSP also announced the National Assistant Principal of the Year during the event.


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