Leah Seupersad, 404-413-1354
ATLANTA— Making sure Georgia State students gain the experience to succeed in a competitive job market is a responsibility that Brittany Peterson takes seriously.
Peterson is president of the Georgia State Chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, whose more than 750,000 members nationally were invited to join the organization by ranking in the top 20 percent of their class during their first and second year of college.
|Junior Brittany Peterson is president of the Georgia State Chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.|
“NSCS is one of the premiere honor societies, but it’s a society where you’re not only showcasing your academic excellence, but the organization really promotes community service and betterment of yourself,” said Peterson, a junior majoring in psychology with a minor in nonprofit leadership. “You’re in a society where you are smart, but it’s not all people see about you.”
Peterson is a first generation college student, who has spent more than 30 hours this semester volunteering on the psychiatric floor at Grady Hospital and mentoring students at King Middle School. She hopes to one day open a group home in Atlanta to help disadvantaged youth.
“I really just want to be some type of influence and change the world in some way,” Peterson said. “I believe that if many kids had the skills to deal with relationships with their parents and with their significant others it would really make a difference. I think that’s what’s missing in the nonprofit sector.”
Through NSCS, Peterson says members have the opportunity to receive scholarships, leadership training, internships, job leads and travel opportunities. The organization also does a community service project every month, which this year has included Aids Walk Atlanta, feeding the homeless at the St. Francis Table Soup Kitchen and wrapping presents for the Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children.
With Peterson at the helm, the group obtained “Gold Star Status,” one of four levels and awards available to chapters that meet requirements set by the NSCS. To achieve Gold Star Status, chapters must hold an induction ceremony for new members, create a student mentoring program, hold campuswide events to support NSCS’ integrity initiative, create an on-campus membership recruitment campaign, maintain a Facebook page and engage a campus office in a chapter event.
“Two years ago this chapter was in shambles and it needed to be reinvented,” Peterson said. “I looked at our board and said we need to change, we need to be more active and get more people involved in our organization, and it has been going extremely well. I have a really strong board and hopefully this year we will become the first chapter in Georgia to ever receive platinum status.”
Peterson says the organization has lots of goals for 2011, including hosting a “March to College Day” in which local junior high school students are invited to campus to learn about higher education opportunities. She also would like to bring the NSCS Route 66 Tour to campus, which is a 66-campus motivational tour, held to help students maximize their college experience.
“One in five students had a job last year when they graduated and that’s because students are not getting the experience they can get while they’re in school,” Peterson said. “You don’t just choose a major because you think you will make the most money, you have to choose something that you are going to want to do for the rest of your life. And if you practice now while you’re in college, you can really find your niche.”
Published Dec. 14, 2010