Niceville High School Students Receive VHP Medal of Honor

NHS Students Receive VHP Medal of Honor

The Niceville High School chapter of the Veterans Heritage Project recently earned the Congressional Honor Citizenship award. The Veterans Heritage Project made the award based on the impactful service to veterans and youth in the states of Florida, Arizona, and Illinois.

The Veterans Heritage Project™ (VHP) connects students with veterans in their communities, offering students the opportunity to immerse in one-on-one personal accounts of heroism and service to our country, while learning life-long skills, developing a passion for history, writing and civics, and an appreciation of the freedoms that came through the sacrifices of those who have served our nation. Niceville High School is the first pilot program started outside the state of Arizona. Eight veterans were interviewed and their stories will be published in the 2019 Phoenix Edition of Since You Asked TM.

VHP is a 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to connecting students with veterans in order to honor veterans, preserve America's heritage and develop future leaders. VHP offers students an opportunity to learn history from primary sources and skill in communication, writing, technology and project management. It enables them to achieve a new sense of purpose, whether in their daily school activities, the pursuit of higher education and choices in careers. 

A pilot chapter of the VHP started here in Florida at Niceville High School. Advanced Placement (AP) English classes studied the book "The Things They Carried," a groundbreaking meditation on war, memory, imagination and the redemptive power of storytelling. The AP English department hosted eight Vietnam Veterans last February to share their story with the classes. Students recorded the interviews and will archive them with the Library of Congress in Washington, DC as well as write each Veteran’s story. The students will also host a book signing reception for all the Veterans included in the book in the spring of 2019. 

The student interviewers were from the classes of Christy Ellis, Pat Mixon, and Jennifer Sjostrom, all AP Language and Composition teachers at Niceville High School.

Pictured are: Front Row L-R: Angelee Morales Rios, Hannah Sjostrom, and Gretchen Erickson, Veterans Heritage Project representative; Middle Row: Collin Szymczak, Taylor Strickler, Rosalina Lombardi; and Back Row: Alex Pugh and Jennifer Sjostrom, AP Language teacher.