At Pompano Beach High School, everyone seems to know Homar Ali.
"Yeah. He's sort of Beyoncé here. He's very influential," said one of his classmates, Debbie Sineus.
Homar runs the National Honor Society at his school, and his adviser says that’s just one way that he contributes to his school and the community at large. Sandy Melillo has been teaching for 45 years and says Homar is one of the absolute best students she’s ever had.
"He is in the top 1 percent. He is just so organized, so humble, so outstanding, so wonderful and he makes my job easier every day," Melillo said.
It wasn’t enough for Homar to be involved himself in all kinds of high school activities, from organizing a Halloween party fundraiser to leading his peers to be involved in Relay for Life. He thought of a unique way to bring freshmen and sophomores along for the ride, too.
"It is hard to join extracurricular activities freshman year. You don't know where to start. You don't know how to start,” Homar said to a meeting of freshmen and sophomores.
What he said is especially true at an all-magnet school like Pompano High, where most freshmen don’t know each other. So Homar created the National Honor Society Novice Club, designed to give 9th and 10th graders leadership roles and community service opportunities.
It's just something I wish I had when I was a freshman or sophomore," Homar said. "It is hard here at Pompano to hang out with people because they do live in all parts of Broward County, so there is a way for them to actually come in and join together."
The Novice Club fills the two-year gap between middle school, when kids can first join the National Honor Society, to 10th grade, when they can join the high school version.
His friends say Homar is the kid they turn to for inspiration.
He's very involved in academics – the top of the class. He sets the standard for all the rest of us," said Marlen Spence, a senior and one of Homar’s friends.
“He inspired me to join the National Honor Society. He’s the one who pushed me and I really thank him for that,” said Debbie Sineus, the classmate who said Homar is Beyoncé-like.
Homar’s a star in the classroom, too. He’s applying to top colleges, such as the University of Chicago and Brown University, hoping to one day be a pediatrician.
This kid who volunteers every Friday (because Pompano Beach High has a four-day week) at his old elementary school, who tutors peers at his high school, says he’s most proud of creating a pathway to service for younger students through the Novice Club.
"I definitely hope this continues on and I hope that does become my legacy," Homar said.
Maybe other schools will jump on board, too.