"It's important to be an asset to the world. You need to contribute to give back and to have high standards for yourself."
Character, scholarship, leadership and service are four principles that continue to guide those few students determined to go beyond the top 12 percent of their class.
The Norwalk High Chapter of the National Honor Society inducted 42 juniors at the Norwalk Inn Thursday night.
"It's really recognizing the total student not just the academic student," said Jay Hariton. "And it's amazing to me as I read through their applications that students who are 15 to 16 years old have done so much in such a short amount of time."
Norwalk High School's Kevin Eidt Chapter, named in memory of a former student member, is one of 22 thousand across the country. Since 1996, the chapter has awarded the Kevin Eidt scholarship to a chosen senior.
"We had to write an essay, and they discussed whether we are in good standing in the school and make sure that our teachers feel good about us and that we can keep it up," said society member Kim Devine.
Those chosen are required to maintain at least a 3.6 GPA for the first three years. The society's faculty advisor Jay Hariton says while 63 were academically qualified, 58 applied, and 42 were accepted.
"Academics just gets you in the door, so to speak," said Hariton. "In order to be eligible, you have to be academically eligible, but you also have to perform service, show good character and leadership qualities."
Hariton says students who were not accepted can apply again their senior year.