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April 26, 2003

First-ever local hearing-impaired student inducted into National Junior Honor Society

From: KUAM-TV, Guam - Apr 26, 2003

by Fredalynn Mortera Hecita, KUAM News

On Friday night the island's first hearing-impaired public school student was granted membership in one of the most prestigious societies. The National Junior Honor Society is the nation's premier organization established back in 1929, recognizing outstanding middle school level students.

29 students from Agueda Johnston Middle School waited anxiously outside the School's halls to be inducted into the Kattan Chapter of the NJHS. Although hundreds of middle school students have been tapped through the years, last night's ceremony recognized the first hearing impaired public school student for Guam.

New NJHS member John Patrick Felipe said through sign language, "My name is John Patrick Felipe. My sign name is 'Patrick'. I'm from Agueda Johnston Middle School." With a room filled with parents and families, John and his fellow students took their place as they sang the National Anthem and Guam Hymn. Also, standing in the crowd filled with pride for her son's accomplishments was John's mom. She told KUAM News, "Oh, I am very happy because he deserves this. I don't expect that he deserves this Honor Society."

NJHS honors those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service and character. Agueda teacher Mike Soliday says John is a model student in the class who works at achieving scholastically as well as socially. "Anything in general, he's very accepting, very friendly. He just works hard. He tries his best everyday. I don't think there's one time that I've ever seen him not really try his best you know everyday. And so I was really happy to hear when they picked him, his name to try to become a member of the junior achievement society," he said.

For John, the future is bright as he looks forward to helping children excel in school activities and community service. "I want to be a teacher and teach them how to read and things, and have fun," he told KUAM News. Striving to be his best, John Patrick Felipe makes his parents proud along with the deaf community of Guam.

Students may not apply for membership in the National Junior Honor Society. Membership is granted only to those students that are selected.

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