Actor, best-selling author, and noted philanthropist Hill Harper is the National Honor Society’s spokesman for its Honor Your Future Now campaign, designed to assist middle school students, high school students, and their parents to begin preparing early for college success.
“Everything for me is filtered through educational achievement,” Harper says. “I couldn’t be more proud to work with the National Honor Society.”
In high school, Harper himself was a member of NHS. He says the organization’s help and principles continue to guide him. But what he appreciates most about its current campaign is that students don’t have to be members to access the helpful tools and resources.
“The website is open to all,” Harper says.
A successful actor who now stars in Limitless, Harper says, “You don’t need a high school diploma to do my job. But that’s not the point. The whole point of education is to expand your options, not limit them. Young people need to study, not so they can do a particular job—but so they can become a more learned person, a better critical thinker.”
Harper says the five pillars of the NHS speak to that:
“The more educated you become, the more ways you can lead, the more ways you can serve,” Harper says. “Education is a foundation for building a great life—no matter what you want to do.”
A national survey of the NHS shows that 72% of college admissions officers recommend that students begin preparing for college in middle school; yet, 52% of middle school students had not yet begun to prepare for college.
That’s why the campaign’s emphasis is on now. Harper and the NHS say it’s never too early to begin preparing for your future.
Although Harper’s job doesn’t require a degree, he’s well educated by any measure. A magna cum laude graduate of Brown, he also has a JD/MPA from Harvard Law. Yet, when he told his high school buddies that he planned to go to Harvard, they laughed at him.
“They thought that was unrealistic because they didn’t know anyone who had gone to Harvard,” says Harper, who also has a foundation, Manifest Your Destiny, which works with underserved young people. “But it’s possible for everyone to figure out a path if they have a plan.”
To help parents and students develop a plan, they can access useful tools and resources at HonorYourFutureNow.org.