Joshua Hawkins does not know which teacher nominated him or even that he was nominated, so when he was invited to join the National Society of High School Scholars it was a double surprise.
“It was a real shock, but a very nice honor,” he said. “I’m still wondering about that.”
The NSHSS was founded in 2002 by James Lewis and Claes Nobel, senior member of the family that established the Nobel Prizes, to recognize students who demonstrate leadership, scholarship and community involvement.
Joshua, son of William Hawkins III and JoAnn Hawkins, is a rising senior at Richmond Hill and wants to study either civil engineering or aeronautical engineering, preferably at Clemson.
“I’ve always liked math and it’s always come very easy to me,” he said. “I also like science but history without a doubt is my favorite subject.”
Joshua is the first to admit that he may not have spent as much time studying as he should have early in his high school career, but that changed while he was recovering from a knee injury two years ago that unfortunately put an end to his football playing days.
“I had a lot of extra time so I decided to really focus on school,” he said. “I finished up last semester with three As and an 89 in my other class.”
Although he can’t play football or wrestle any longer, he helps coach whatever sport his younger brother plays, including football, baseball and soccer, and he works at the South Bryan County Recreation Department.
The Savannah Christian Church attendee said he takes joy in helping others and tries to give people he comes in contact with a reason to smile.
“On behalf of NSHSS, I am honored to recognize the hard work, sacrifice and commitment that Joshua has demonstrated to achieve this exceptional level of academic excellence,” Nobel said in a prepared statement. “Joshua is now a member of a unique community of scholars — a community that represents our very best hope for the future.”
NSHSS members have access to scholarships for college and international study, as well as internships and fellows programs and presenting research at professional gatherings. The organization has more than 1 million members in 160 countries
Students can qualify for NSHSS in a variety of ways, including their GPA, SAT or ACT score, class rank or performances on AP or IB exams and are nominated by a teacher.