[Newark, NJ] The National Honor Society (NHS) and Newark Public Schools are excited to announce that Jeremias Castillo, a senior at Technology High School is the $25,000 National Honor Society Scholarship winner. NHS is supported by its parent organization, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), which also administers the National Student Council.
"This moment was huge," said Jeremias Castillo, winner of the NHS Scholarship. "A lot of times it feels like the little things you’re putting together aren’t significant, but here everything came together to affirm that what I have been doing has made an impact. I’ve been able to use the platforms I have available to speak about leveling out health disparities, which is my passion. It felt like everything up to this moment has been worth it, and everything is working toward bettering my community.”
Superintendent of Schools Roger Leὀn said, “We are extremely proud of Jeremias’ accomplishments as he is an embodiment of the greatness of the students in our high schools in Newark. His family, Technology High School, and the entire city of Newark are proud of him too.”
From a pool of 13,000 applicants, Jeremias Castillo distinguished himself with his unwavering commitment to enacting positive change in the American healthcare system. Jeremias’ motivation stems from the recent passing of his father, which painfully personalized the health disparities affecting underrepresented groups. Since then, he has been fighting to ensure everyone has access to the compassionate healthcare they deserve. As the vice president of his NHS chapter, he volunteers weekly at Clara Maass Medical Center and has collected over 2,000 toiletry bags for the Newark Department of Health and Welfare. Jeremias has inspired others to act by sharing their story and passion for service across many platforms, from speaking at a food-insecurity symposium to appearing on Steve Adubato’s Lessons in Leadership, reaching over 3.6 million households. He will continue his studies in neuroscience and political science at Harvard as a proud member of the Class of 2027, pursuing his goal of creating a more equitable healthcare system for all.
NHS awarded more than $2 million in scholarships to 600 high school seniors this year. Four of the top finalists were awarded a $10,625 scholarship for embodying the pillars of NHS membership: scholarship, service, leadership, and character. Twenty finalists received $5,625, and Jeremias, the national winner, received $25,000.
"These phenomenal NHS students are on the cusp of graduating with the highest honors and will leave behind a legacy of servant leadership that has transformed their schools and communities," said NASSP President Aaron Huff. "During their time in NHS, they have sought to address important issues such as poverty, environmental sustainability, healthcare access, and social justice—and they've done so with enthusiasm and determination."