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Quakertown sophomores earn HOBY leadership scholarships

 

Quakertown sophomores Emily Kelso, left, and Riya Sembhi stand in front of the high school's iconic Panther.

Quakertown sophomores Emily Kelso, left, and Riya Sembhi stand in front of the high school's iconic Panther.

By Gary Weckselblatt

Quakertown Community High School sophomores Emily Kelso and Riya Sembhi have been nominated for the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) scholarship.

The award comes with an invitation to attend a weekend leadership seminar at Albright College in Reading from June 14-16.

The students were selected by QCHS counselors based upon their written essays. Prompts asked for an example of when they the showed leadership skills, or an example of when they didn’t and how they would respond differently today.

“Both are excellent students and leaders in the classroom,” said Erica Henry, a counselor who described the essays as “insightful.” She said the seminars offer “a great chance for them to grow both here in school and in the greater community.

At Albright, “they’ll get to experience college life and meet other student leaders while taking part in workshops,” Ms. Henry said.

Riya, a member of the choir, band and student council, said she was “excited to be chosen.” She called it an amazing opportunity. Emily, a member of the Varsity Singers, said “I was really surprised. I really didn’t expect to be picked.” They agreed that taking the essay helped them reflect on their instances of action or inaction.

Recent QCHS HOBY winners include Sara Vahdatshoar, Tyler Einolf, Nate Besch and Chau Nong.

According to the HOBY website, the State Leadership Seminar, HOBY's flagship program, allows students to recognize their leadership talents and apply them in becoming effective, ethical leaders in their home, school, workplace and community. Students attend seminars and participate in hands-on leadership activities, meet leaders in their state, and explore their own personal leadership skills while learning how to make a positive impact in their community.

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

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or gweckselblatt@qcsd.org.