We are a Home School Honor Society dedicated to encouraging the pursuit of our three pillars: Leadership, Scholarship, and Service. We promote Leadership by allowing our membership to run the organization and help make important decisions about its future. Scholarship is encouraged by promoting high academic standards among our members who must meet academic testing requirements. Service is encouraged through monthly community service projects organized by the membership, as well as by offering the President’s Volunteer Service Award to those who qualify.
Eta Sigma Alpha Mission Statement
“The purpose of Eta Sigma Alpha National Home School Honor Society shall be to recognize and encourage scholarship among home school students. To achieve this purpose, Eta Sigma Alpha National Home School Honor Society shall provide opportunities for the development of leadership and service. Eta Sigma Alpha shall encourage the development of an intellectual climate that will stimulate the exchange of ideas and ideals, foster scholarship, and promote academic excellence. Eta Sigma Alpha shall also advocate homeschooling as a viable and successful educational methodology and act as a liaison for homeschooling to the general public, colleges/universities, and the media.”
After finding a sponsor and several interested students, Mrs. Dana Helton founded the Omicron Beta chapter of ESA. Omicron Beta met twice, and volunteered with the Family Attic Thrift Store, St. Vincent de Paul, and Covenant Homeschool Resource Center.
In the fall of 2004, Mrs. Willynn McRee volunteered to advise Omicron Beta's 23 members. Service projects included making phone calls for the Republican Party, creating Christmas cards for soldiers, volunteering with the Family Attic, and tutoring. An annual awards banquet was added to the yearly program, and the chapter's first yearbook was printed.
Grand Canyon University as added as a sponsor and meetings were moved to GCU's Student Union Hall. Thirty-five members participated in service projects, including: cards and care packages to soldiers in Iraq, volunteering at the Family Attic, and landscaping at Covenant Homeschool Resource Center.
Omicron Beta's membership rose to 44 students, making it the largest chapter in the United States! Three parent advisors were added to assist Mrs. McRee with administration and community service activities. Members created holiday cards and assembled care packages for soldiers in Iraq, made phone calls for the Republican Party, worked at the Family Attic, and hosted "Saturday Morning at Grand Canyon University", a program intended to help homeschoolers prepare for college admissions requirements.
Mrs. Leslie Jensen assumed the advisor duties of 39 member chapter. A new student officer was added to the leadership team to oversee the publication of the chapter's newsletter, and members voted to add a service activity to their annual Christmas party. Members purchased and giftwrapped socks for Shoebox Ministries and assembled fleece blankets to donate to those in need. Additional service projects included making holiday cards and assembling care packages for overseas soldiers, and working at the Family Attic.
In 2008 our chapter had grown so large that the second chapter was added to accommodate students in the East Valley. Mrs. Leslie Jensen added Mrs. Messer has a co-advisor. They worked with the members to make our chapter more student-led. We added Southwestern College as a sponsor and moved our meetings there. We participated in 6 service projects. We collected food and worked at the food bank, helped at Family Attic, and collected socks for Shoebox Ministries. We ended the year with the banquet and a yearbook.
Mrs. Messer was our advisor this year, and we truly moved to a student organization. We added a website to communicate with 29 members. Since we require members to attend two meetings and two service projects, we had six of each. Highlights included a talent show at an assisted living facility, cutting sewing clothes for Project Linus, and our old favorites: the Food Bank, Family Attic, and Shoebox Ministries. New this year was an electronic yearbook.
Mrs. Messer continued to serve as the advisor for our 30 member chapter. Service projects included a talent show at Paradise Valley retirement home, cutting sewing welts for Project Linus, a book drive for covenant homeschool resource center, and our old favorites St. Mary's food bank, family attic, and helping our host, Arizona Christian University ['s formerly Southwest in college]'s. The calendar also included additional service opportunities which gave members extra transistors and service hours; however, these were not counted two at the chapter membership requirements. For the second half of the year the officers included a new feature: guest speakers. Three speakers gave presentations at the end of each meeting, addressing aspect of the chapter’s motto: scholarship, leadership, and service.
Mrs. Messer continued being our advisor this year. We performed many service projects, such as making cards for the VA hospital, and serving at FMSC and St. Mary's Food Bank. We also packed 16 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. We made 10 fleece blankets and 6 block quilts for Project Linus, and 40 drawstring pouches to hold hygiene items and toys for next years' shoeboxes.
Mrs. Messer continued advising our group. We performed service projects, such as filling 24 overflowing boxes for Operation Christmas Child using the drawstring pouches we made, and making 360 cards for the VA hospital. We also served at Family Attic and the Food Bank.
This year we had a benefit concert to raise money to buy a water tank for an orphanage in India. We served at FMSC, packed Mother's Day purses, and made cards for the VA hospital. We also adopted a family for Christmas. We had speakers from GCU, TGen, Dress a Girl Around the World, and UMOM. This was Mrs. Messer's last year as advisor of ESA.
Mrs. Cindy Tappendorf became the new advisor of ESA this year. We did many service projects this year. Some of the highlights include the following: We made backpacks with Dress-a-Girl; we helped sort through mountains of toys at UMOM around Christmas time; at the Christmas party, we caroled to residents of an assisted living facility. We also did some of the old favorites: Saint Mary’s Food Bank, cards for the VA hospital, and Feed My Starving Children. We also had a fun mascot, Juan, the flying pig!
Mrs. Tappendorf continued to serve as our advisor this year. We performed several service projects, including Operation Christmas Child, where we filled 33 shoe boxes to be sent to children around the world. We also held a benefit concert to raise money for a sound system for the India Evangelistic and Relief Fellowship Ongole Church and Orphanage. We also caroled at a nursing home, packed food with St. Mary's Food Bank, and rang bells with the Salvation Army. Some speakers we heard from were Operation Christmas Child, the Salvation Army, and Moezart Productions. Our mascot was a desert tortoise named Thomas Jefferson, or TJ for short.
Mrs. Tappendorf continued to lead our group as advisor. We served many organizations by packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, refurbishing bikes with Recycle-Your-Bicycle for foster kids, caroling to residents of Brookdale North Glendale Retirement Home, weeding gardens at UMOM, sewing dresses with Dress-a-Girl-Around-the-World, and sprucing up Covenant Home School Resource Center’s premises. Our speakers this year were from Operation Christmas Child, TeenPact, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary. Our mascot was Hortencio, a fluffy sheep.