Servant Leader
Hally Huizenga '22

National Honor Society is built on four pillars: academics, character, leadership, and service. But for senior, Paul Kalapala, service is something he does simply because he’s called to do so.

“Service is the best opportunity to be God’s hands and feet,” Paul Kalapala, a senior and the Student Council Body President and National Honor Society Member explains. “It is one thing to learn about prayer and serving others, but it is dynamic to put what we learn and hear about into action.” 

Service has been ingrained in Paul’s life since he was little. It started simply enough when he volunteered at a local church for Vacation Bible School. He worked as a rotation leader and was responsible for taking kids around from station to station and helping a child with things like getting a bandaid for a paper cut.

Once he was inducted into the National Honor Society his junior year, he was required to serve. National Honor Society is built on four pillars: academics, character, leadership, and service. Students are required to complete 10 hours of personal service a year. They also do group service projects. 

One of the biggest service projects through National Honor Society is through a partnership with Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church in Chicago. Students help prepare a Christmas dinner and serve the families from Ebenezer dinner. They even have the opportunity to pray with them. “Every year students are assigned to give gifts to a few kids. I was assigned to two kids and the gift I choose for one of them was tabletop foosball,” says Paul Kalapala. “We also provided the families with a good solid meal of meat and mashed potatoes, as well as setting up a big piñata for the kids to try to knock down.” 

In the same way that God helps and cares for us, we have to help and care for each other.

Service, though isn’t just something that Paul does to fulfill service hours. He does it because he loves people. “I don’t think service hours should ever be the main reason for a person to serve others,” Paul says. “The main reason that I try to serve others is to obey God. In the same way that God helps and cares for us, we have to help and care for each other.” 

Last summer, Paul and his family went to India and served at an orphanage high up in the mountains. “You always hear about others going to orphanages and doing many unique service opportunities,” Paul says. “But, it's really nice to actually go and do it.”

His mom, a physician who practices at Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital, and older brother set up a medical station and gave the kids checkups to provide them with proper medical care. 

“The whole town is infested with malaria and filled with many medical problems,” Paul explains. “And there are no knowledgeable doctors around there to help them. Most of the people are thin and sick from malaria, which can also cause vision problems. But of course, there's no vision doctor, so there's no way to help them.”

Paul connected with the kids by teaching them some basic English vocabulary with his grandparents. “Since there was a language barrier and we couldn’t understand what they were saying, all the kids would repeat our actions,” says Paul. “So I did the roller coaster with them.” The roller coaster is from the Timothy student section during sports games called the Red Zone. To do the roller coaster students mimic the movements of riding one by moving their arms around from side to side and back and forth. 

“We all have our own unique gifts and skills that we can use to serve others,” Paul says. “I find it amazing to see the impact we can make on other people when we use our gifts to help them.”

Illinois State Scholars: Excellence Driven

The State Scholar program identifies graduating high school seniors who possess superior academic potential. Students from nearly every high school in Illinois compete in the program. In order to receive this honor, students must perform in the top one-half of their high school class at the end of the junior year of high school, and/or score at or above the 95th percentile on the ACT or SAT. Approximately 10% of all Illinois high school seniors are named State Scholars. 

  • Sarah Molengraft
  • Jana Kunz
  • Rebekah Yurschak
  • Hannah Tameling
  • Emma Pelini
  • Ethan Roemmich 
  • Paul Kalapala
  • Calvin Veldman
  • Justin Voss 
  • Harrison Stanton 
  • Colin Erchull 
  • Hope Clark
  • Raymond Ellingsen
  • Ryan Hammond
  • Jonah Nelson 
  • Tyler Voss

2019 National Honor Society Members

  • Anderson, Lauren
  • Bradley, Katherine
  • Buikema, Katherine
  • Bulthuis, Carter
  • Carlson, Nicholas
  • Carstensen, Sarah
  • Carter, Emma
  • Day, Jackson
  • DeJager, Andrew
  • DeJong, Madelyn
  • Ellens, Lauren
  • Feringa, Megan
  • Finerty, Anna
  • Forgac, Kate
  • Fournier, Ava
  • Hoogstra, Greta
  • Kelsey, Olivia
  • Lee, Cassandra
  • Marshall, Campbell
  • Munk, Elena
  • Myers, Allison
  • Myers, Bethany
  • Odafe, Zara
  • Ojeda, Emma
  • Pae, Joshua
  • Robia, Ella
  • Schuringa, Hannah
  • Skokos, Alexandra
  • Stoll, Sarah
  • Taylor, Anna
  • Van Hout, Luke
  • Veenstra, Etta
  • Voss, Justin
  • Voss, Tyler
  • Wang, Matilda
  • Ward, Elsa
  • Wells, Georgia
  • Wenn, Chaylee
  • Westra, Jason
  • Wolterstorff, Abigail
  • Zhuang, Christina
  • academics