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HMS Builds Future Leaders Through Jr. Beta Club

Written by: Crystel Ellison

Excited middle school students, with tagged luggage in hand, said good-bye to their parents and entered the yellow school bus on a chilly Sunday morning. Their destination: Jr. Beta Club State Convention in Biloxi. Duration of trip: Three days/two nights. Their goal: Compete at state level.

Stacy Chapman, Jr. Beta Club sponsor (for 17 years) and sixth grade Language teacher at Houston Middle School, knows this convention goes way beyond a field trip to the coast.

“The purpose of the Jr. Beta club is to foster future leaders for our community, state, country, and the world,” Chapman said. “It assists students to graduate and further their education after high school.”

It is through competitions, community service projects, and academic achievement that Chapman hopes the HMS chapter of Jr. Beta will develop leaders of character and service.

“Students must complete 15 hours of community service and maintain an 85 or above for their final average for each subject,” Chapman said. “Competition is optional for sixth graders but mandatory for seventh and eighth graders at HMS.”

Students compete in academic, visual arts, crafts, and performing arts categories at the state level, from quiz bowls to digital photography to woodworking to jewelry design.

Destiny Fields, an eighth grader who competed in the T-shirt Design category, credited Jr. Beta Club for her good grades and giving her the confidence to succeed.

“It helps me keep up my grades. I also enjoy learning new things and meeting new people at the convention,” Fields said. “The community service projects inspired me to help others and be a role model.”

The Beta organization was founded in 1934 by Dr. John W. Harris. Named after the second letter in the Greek alphabet, The National Beta Club is the largest, non-profit educational youth organization in America.

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