Senior Om Biyani is a leader with a vison


Om Biyani, President of the 2022-2023 chapter of Arvada West NHS, has been commited to the orginization over the past three years. Photo courtesy of Biyani

Based on the four pillars of :service, character, scholarship, and citizenship, National Honors Society (NHS) is often deemed as a group of students who are leaders in not only the Arvada West community, but reflect their leadership in the local community. Whether it is through his actions where he strives to act his best and reflect his position of NHS,his academically challenging classes he took over his high school career, or over 300 hours of service throughout his three years in NHS, in his day to day life  NHS President Om Biyani strives to embody the characteristics of NHS.

Every Spring, a number of sophomores and juniors who have an unweighted cumulative GPA of 3.6 or higher, are invited to apply to National Honors Society.  While there is a high number of students given the opportunity to apply, the process is thorough and selective including: two letters of recommendation, extracurricular involvement, community service, and multiple free response questions that are centered around the pillars of NHS.  In 2021, When Biyani was invited to apply, he recalls the diligence he put into his application, and the dedication he has had to becoming a member of NHS, “2021, The week before submitting my application I spent a lot of time revising my application to perfection with some members of NHS; seeing the hours I spent on my application I was elated and proud that my efforts had been fruitful.”

Initially, the idea of community is what caught the eye of Biyani, and it soon sparked curiosity, becoming one of his main focuses throughout his time in NHS. To Biyani, community is, “ … the people that surround and influence you, people are all interconnected, and their well being can impact everyone else. A community defines these connected individuals, but also represents the support each individual gives to their connections.”

“…As a part of NHS I wanted to learn about my community through my service. In large suburbs, like ours, the sheer magnitude can limit the connections that form, and I wanted to see and become a part of this community that had eluded me”, he explains.

Community of course, is a focus of National Honors Society. At Arvada West, each year is filled with a number of events that aim to build the community at school. For example, late October, brings Arvada West’s Trick or Treat Street, and Biyani says 2021’s Trick or Treat Street is his favorite memory throughout his time in NHS. “I got to spend a night meeting people in our community and have fun making an exciting environment for kids alongside several of my friends,” Biyani shares.

While every student who is a part of NHS seeks those opportunities to become a leader in the community at large, there are certain students who obtain further leadership opportunities in the organization by becoming officers. Biyani was one of those students, and in particular, he was interested in serving as President of National Honors Society because, “Being a leader in NHS was a chance for me to prove that I was capable of creating these powerful social connections, that I could enable others to perform positive change.”

 National Honors Society sponsor, and Social Studies teacher at Arvada West Joanna Komitor comments on how Biyani has carried himself throughout his leadership position, “He is a quiet leader, that’s not a bad thing. He’s not an in your face type of leadership, he is one that will think about the logistics and the big picture and get his tasks done in a timely manner.”

“Being a quiet leader is different than being a loud leader, because it is harder for them to establish themselves as an authority figure. He had to learn how to balance his more introverted nature with the requirement of an extroverted position”, she adds

Biyani agrees with the traits that Komitor has noted throughout his role as President, and he says he is “a very independent person”. This independence is something that Biyani acknowledges as something he has struggled with throughout his time as President, and admittedly he says that he was challenged to not resort to his typical independence.

In particular, during the 2022- 2023 fall semester, National Honors Society hosted their annual Student Leadership Conference, or SLC. As President, this was Biyani’s main contribution to this year’s chapter, and was one time that he says his independent work ethics were challenged. “Working on SLC I was far too focused on completing all the work myself, and this made it difficult for me to delegate work to group members; overcoming this curve was a fulfilling challenge and taught me the importance of delegating and the power a group can have.”

The hard work and dedication did not go unnoticed, and Komitor appreciates Biyani’s efforts, sayings, “He did an excellent job planning the Student Leadership Conference that we had in December.. Organizing it and organizing the speakers and making sure everything went smoothly that day.”

  Most of Arvada West recognizes Biyani because of his leadership in NHS. However despite the personality he may hold while in leadership, outside of NHS Biyani describes himself  as someone who is more open and free-flowing rather than someone who is calculated. He describes his personality and says, “Outside of the NHS, I tend to be someone who likes to go with the flow; I feel like enjoying the spontaneity of other people, and sometimes yourself, is the best way to have interesting experiences.”


Reflection on High school and Looking Into the Future:

 Whether it’s been through his step up to leadership, or his childhood dreams, Biyani has always seemed to be looking at the bigger picture. As a kid, his interests were focused on the mysteries of the universe, and at the time that mystery was the answer to the question of what he wanted to be when he grew up. “I wanted to be an astrophysicist or astronomer, I always loved the vastness of space and fantasizing about what was out there”, he explains.

As of today, his fascination with the universe has been continuous especially when Biyani discusses his hopes about his future.

Today, Biyani dreams of being a researcher. He says, “…Researchers are always learning, and I look forward to never ending new knowledge that will always intrigue me.

 When Biyani first arrived at high school in 2019, the world around him had all the differences from the world today. Upon anyones arrival at a new school, there is a mixture of expectations, curiosities, and feelings. For Biyani, he immediately saw high school as an opportunity to pursue his interests, and says that this was his hope for himself, “My hopes in highschool where to learn about my interests and through taking all the course I can; and find what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.”

 He further reflects upon his freshman year and states, “As a freshman, I learned a lot about others and made several friends; in high school these friendships,and what I learned were cornerstones for me and shaped the entirety of my social life in high school. Thanks to the friendships I made, I grew comfortable in high school quickly and I’ve learned a lot about myself.”

As the past four years have flown by, Biyani has learnt a lot about himself, and the world that surrounds him. Whether it be from the infamous Covid-19 pandemic that he says, “taught me the importance of being social and of isolation”, or the knowledge that Biyani has acquired over his years in high school, there seems to be a constant need to know more in Biyani’s life. In particular, over his high school years he notes that A.P. Research was his favorite class because of not only the curiosity it evoked in him, but the growth he saw in himself through the class. However, the key to any successful class is the educator behind it, and Biyani is not short of acknowledging English teacher Angela Dryer as a key figure in his growth, “… her class was interested in genuine growth and not curriculum based learning. Her class forced me to look at writing and how to write, and taught me so much about writing well and what I am capable of writing.”

He elaborates and says, “In AP Lang, I learned about my own capabilities as a writer, and how to express my thoughts in writing I actually enjoy. In AP Research this year, I learned about research, my future career, the mindset and openness required to be one.”

Over the course of high school, undoubtedly every student will have a range of experiences and memories that will create their high school experience. For Biyani, he again reiterates his love for AP Research, and says that through all his time in high school the class gave him his favorite memory. He recalls the moment every student collectively submitted their papers and describes, “The friends I made and grew alongside as we wrote our papers, taught me a lot about personal growth… We all submitted our papers together and seeing our papers which we had spent the last year working on finally done was a carthic and exhilarating experience.”

By the time fall comes around again, the National Honors Society will host their next Trick or Treat Street, the class of 2024 will become the new senior class of Arvada West, and undoubtedly time will move on and life will change. For Biyani, his plan as soon as the next school year comes around is to attend the Colorado School of Mines, and aims to receive a degree in Physics or Mathematics. Biyani will establish his own path of life, and a future full of possibility stands in front of him. Regardless of the way it turns out, Biyani has one wish that he hopes the course of his life will impose upon the world, “Simply, I want to make life better for the people I meet.”