The student news site of Jones College Prep High School


The student news site of Jones College Prep High School


The student news site of Jones College Prep High School


National Chinese Honors Society’s benevolence

Cleaning up Chinatown and more

Last month, the National Chinese Honors Society picked up trash in Chinatown, cultivating community relationships while helping Chicago become a better place. 

The National Chinese Honors Society (NCHS) works extensively in the Chinatown area, and often volunteers for local causes.

“The NCHS’s mission is to do volunteer jobs and to give back to the community,” said Mandarin teacher and NCHS sponsor Changjun Zhao. 

Ms. Yang, alongside Ms. Zhao, is another Mandarin teacher involved with the NCHS.

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“The club has connections with various non-profit organizations throughout the Chinatown-McKinley Park-Bridgeport area,” says the NCHS co-president Mary Yoon ‘24. 

These opportunities are found through the NCHS’s expansive network of connections in the East Asian community in Chicago. Local organizations often reach out with volunteer events in mind, or the Jones NCHS will get asked to organize something among its members.

“The Pui Tak Center in Chinatown has an event called the Chinatown Cleanup Event that they host every Saturday,” said Yoon, who coordinates events for the club. 

The Pui Tak Center is a community-based organization where people can refine their English skills, find jobs, get academic help, become citizens, and adapt to life in the United States.

“They reached out to us to see if we were interested in coming out, and of course, we said yes,” Yoon said. 

The event’s turnout had ten NCHS members along with some other students from Jones.

“We just walked around picking up trash, and we picked up a surprising amount of it”, said Yoon. 

But there is more on the agenda in the NCHS this year. The club has already had much success this school year in volunteering, and they’re looking forward to accomplishing more.

“This school year NCHS is trying to hold a minimum of four volunteer opportunities every semester,” said Yoon. 

The club is opportunistic and on track to complete its goal.

“This semester, we volunteered at a Fall Festival where we got to hand out candy and be ushers at the Halloween event,” said Yoon, who thoroughly enjoyed the event herself.

The club also had an event at Ping Tom Park, where the club enjoyed being outside and connecting with others in the Chinatown community.

“We attended the Chinatown Commerce Gala, and got to help host a really fancy party for all the Chinatown businesses,” Yoon said. 

The club does a wide variety of things but wants to stand unique to other clubs at Jones.

“We have other Asian clubs here at Jones, but we don’t want to overlap so this is more service work,” Zhao says. 

The NCHS is a great opportunity to give back to our locals. If one is interested in doing the same while celebrating Chinese language and culture among fellow students here at Jones, join the NCHS. 

“We have some requirements, the student needs to be at least two years into the Chinese Language Program at Jones, their GPA needs to be a B+ or above, and they need to be still taking the class,” says Zhao. 

There are currently 22 students enrolled in the club. They get the chance to develop skills, acquire leadership roles, and learn more about Chinese culture.

“It’s a great opportunity to be involved with the Asian American community and immersed within Chinatown,” says Yoon about the benefits of being in such a hands-on club.

By being the co-president, Yoon has seen the club’s effects first-hand.

“It’s about finding out what the community’s needs are, getting service hours, and getting to meet other students who are learning Chinese at Jones,” Yoon says.

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Allen Carey '25, Journalism I

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