Outstanding sophomore leaders receive HOBY award

Two sopho­more stu­dents at Quakertown Community High School have been nom­i­nat­ed for the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) schol­ar­ship. The award comes with an invi­ta­tion to attend a two-day lead­er­ship sem­i­nar with the orga­ni­za­tion, designed to give stu­dents the tools they need to turn their ideas into action and achieve their goals.

The out­stand­ing stu­dents are Julia Henry and Emily Wehr. They were select­ed by QCHS coun­selors based upon their writ­ten essays. Prompts asked for an exam­ple of when they showed lead­er­ship skills or an exam­ple of when they did­n’t and how they would respond dif­fer­ent­ly today.

Julia and Emily were cho­sen among sev­er­al appli­cants for their authen­tic and inspir­ing essays,” said coun­selor Erica Henry. “Both stu­dents demon­strat­ed the lead­er­ship char­ac­ter­is­tics that are nur­tured and expand­ed upon dur­ing their HOBY expe­ri­ence. Emily and Julia will be excel­lent ambas­sadors for Quakertown Community High School.”

Emily, who wrote about how she demon­strates lead­er­ship with­in her fam­i­ly unit, said “I was shocked, very ecsta­t­ic,” upon learn­ing of her selection.

Her school coun­selor, Doug Detweiler, said “Emily is a strong stu­dent who dis­plays a pos­i­tive atti­tude towards life.  She is com­mit­ted to aca­d­e­m­ic excel­lence and sees prob­lems in life as oppor­tu­ni­ties for growth.”

Mrs. Henry, Julia’s coun­selor, described her as an “out­stand­ing stu­dent” who excels in a vari­ety of activ­i­ties, includ­ing sports, march­ing band, choir and Girl Scouts.

I am very hon­ored for the oppor­tu­ni­ty to sharp­en my lead­er­ship skills,” Julia said. “I want to work to enhance my abil­i­ty to help the team and improve my pub­lic speaking.”

In the essay, Julia wrote about her Girl Scout project in which she cre­at­ed a per­son­al­ized video trib­ute to the Class of 2020 by ask­ing 9th‑, 10th‑, and 11th-grade stu­dents to sub­mit short videos. She recruit­ed a team of five peers and a fac­ul­ty advi­sor to assist with the project and met vir­tu­al­ly until completion.

The stu­dents fol­low in the long line of excel­lent student-leaders from QCHS to be cho­sen for HOBY’s flag­ship pro­gram, includ­ing Angelina Becker, Austin Hunsberger, Emily Kelso, Riya Sembhi, Tyler Einolf, Melissa Nong, Nate Besch and Sara Vahdatshoar.

Julia and Emily both have their eyes on the future. Julia plans to become an ana­lyst on sports broad­casts. Emily is seek­ing to major in crim­i­nal jus­tice and have a career in police work.

In pre­vi­ous years, Albright College host­ed the HOBY event. This year, because of the pan­dem­ic, the lead­er­ship sem­i­nars will be vir­tu­al on June 11–12. “Even though it’s vir­tu­al it will still be a great expe­ri­ence,” Emily said. 

The Woman’s Club of Quakertown makes a dona­tion to the dis­trict to help fund the program.