BetaClub-WebsiteLogoThere are those who are born leaders and then there are those who become leaders. If you fall into either one of those categories and are a student in the fourth through twelfth grades, the National Beta Club is one you should consider. The independent, educational and non-profit organization for youth has been developing leaders for more than 80 years. Some of its notable former members include Bill Clinton, Kevin Durant, Millard Fuller and Diane Sawyer.

Beta Club members are steered towards achievement as they are recognized and honored for their academic accomplishments, receive direction in strengthening their character and leadership skills, and acquire a better understanding of the importance of service to others. As members, students become part of an organization of more than 450,000 active members with more than 8,750 clubs in the United States and abroad.

Convention_Art Competition. Picture courtesy of the National Beta Club.

Convention Art Competition. Picture courtesy of the National Beta Club.

HLA students now have the opportunity to become a part of the National Beta Club through HLA or under an established chapter of HLA.

Students join either in the junior division, for fourth through eighth graders, or in the senior division, for ninth through twelfth graders. When students participate in the academic competitions, the divisions are further divided. Some of the competition categories for the junior division include Black & White Photography, Cross-Stitch (Stamped or Counted), Essay, Speech, Technology and a diverse

Scholarship_recipient Ethan Barnes and Bob Bright, CEO. Picture courtesy of the National Beta Club.

Scholarship_recipient Ethan Barnes and Bob Bright, CEO. Picture courtesy of the National Beta Club.

selection of academic competitions. The senior division categories include Advertising Design, Character Skit, Creative Writing, Math, Poetry, Science and other areas of academics. You may see all of the competition divisions. High school seniors are also eligible for scholarships as members of the National Beta Club. More than $300,000 is awarded annually in scholarships.

Starting a chapter is an easy process.

“To establish a Beta Chapter, you need a minimum of five students – per division: Junior Beta and Senior Beta. National Junior Beta is for students in fourth through eighth grades, and National Senior Beta is for ninth through twelfth grades,” said HLA Senior Counselor Lani Carey. “Further, National Junior Beta has two divisions: Elementary Division I is for fourth through fifth grades and Junior Division II is sixth through eighth grades. A membership fee of $15 applies once per division.”

Parents will manage the registration, which is done directly through the Beta Club; follow HLA’s criteria for membership with regard to the Beta constitution; invite students to become members (read more) and run the chapter. The Beta Club provides personalized membership certificates, membership cards, lapel pins and other materials needed to conduct the group. Since HLA is the sponsor, the group name must have “HomeLife Academy” or “HLA” as part of its title (ex: HomeLife Academy Jackson group or HLA Jackson group).

For those students who would like to join, but do not live in an area where a chapter has been established, they may still become members in the HLA Junior Beta Club (HLA Jr.) or HLA Senior Beta Club (HLA Sr.).

NBC Leadership_Summer Camp. Picture courtesy of the National Beta Club.

NBC Leadership Summer Camp. Picture courtesy of the National Beta Club.

“We will also have an HLA Jr. and HLA Sr. for all students, but these students will not have local chapters, so the requirements are different,” said Lani. “If you just want them to be a part of our National Beta Jr. Club or Sr. Club, with no local chapter to participate in, let me know and you will send the money and information to HLA instead of directly to them.”

Lani also stated in order to receive an invitation to or maintain membership in the HLA Jr. and HLA Sr. Clubs, eligible students are required to maintain a minimum 3.85 GPA, attend mandatory monthly meetings (if members of an established local club) and possess and demonstrate high moral character within the school and community.

“Students must also commit to individual volunteerism and club projects (local clubs only) in order to promote the Beta Club ideal of Ducamus aliis serviendo – Let us lead by serving others,” said Lani. “Specifically, prospective and current Beta Club members must meet certain requirements in order to receive an invitation or maintain membership within the organization.”

Requirements for members of established local HLA Beta Clubs:

• Maintain a minimum 3.85 GPA
• Must not miss more than three meetings throughout the year
• Must demonstrate conduct becoming of a Beta
• Complete a minimum of 25 hours of personal volunteer service each school year
• Participate in at least two group projects throughout the year

Requirements for members of HLA Jr. or Sr. Clubs:

• Maintain a minimum 3.85 GPA
• Must demonstrate conduct becoming of a Beta
• Complete a minimum of 50 hours of personal volunteer service each school year

Eighteen (18) southern states have state conventions where members may compete. Students are only able to compete in the state convention where they are members, but may attend leadership summits and summer camps wherever they are offered. Winners from the state conventions continue to the National Convention that is held each summer in a different location of the country. The 2016 National Convention will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana and the 2017 National Convention will be at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Tennessee and Alabama recently held their annual state conventions, but the next convention for students in Alabama will be held March 16-18 for the juniors (grades fourth through eighth) and April 14-15 for the seniors (grades ninth through twelfth).

If you are interested in learning more about starting a National Beta Club chapter or for your child to become a member directly under HLA, contact Lani by e-mail or call her at (888) 560-0774 for more information.

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©2015 HomeLife Academy. Article by Jennifer Smeltser. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the publisher /.