Students selected for HOBY leadership seminar

The three sophomore academic standouts are Brooke Alsante, Emily Parker, and Emma Pham.
Posted on 03/31/2022
From left, sophomores Brooke Alsante, Emily Parker and Emma Pham have been nominated for the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) scholarship.By Gary Weckselblatt

Three 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 Brooke Alsante, Emily Parker, and Emma Pham. Brooke is unable to attend the event - June 17-19 at Albright College in Reading - which is why three students, rather than two, were chosen. They were selected by QCHS counselors based on 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.

“These students have demonstrated the leadership characteristics that are nurtured and expanded upon during the HOBY experience,” said counselor Erica Henry. “Emily and Emma will be excellent ambassadors for Quakertown Community High School.”

Each student has a weighted grade point average above 4.0 and is involved in several school activities. Though they’re less than halfway through their high school careers, Emily and Emma are already considering careers in the medical field. Brooke plans to be a mechanical engineer.

All three know each other well. Brooke and Emma are on the school’s Dance Team while Brooke and Emily started the school’s STEM Club this year and finished first and second in last week’s Rotary Four-Way Test Speech Competition. Brooke and Emily are also officers of the sophomore class and members of the Key and Mandarin clubs. All of the girls participate in Mini-THON.

“Brooke and Emily are two independent powerhouses,” said Kurt Amen, advisor to the STEM Club. “They're the types of students we can trust with any task. They start clubs, and execute their plans to perfection. I'm honestly honored just to get the chance to work with them. I can't say enough great things about these two. We're lucky to have them.”

Emma is a Best Buddies advisor, a member of the Student Council, and Future Business Leaders of America.

“Emma is goal-oriented and highly motivated to make her mark in this world,” said Eric Gozzard, her school counselor.

Carrie Perone, advisor to the Dance Team, described Emma as “a true leader and a hard worker. She always thinks of others and is always willing to assist when needed. Emma is a valuable asset to the dance team as well as the QCHS community as a whole.”

Each student has high aspirations. Emma, who would like to attend the University of Pennsylvania, was “really excited” to be selected for the HOBY award as she sees it as an opportunity to “build my leadership skills and be able to do better for other people.”

Brooke and Emily named MIT as their dream school. Brooke is hoping “to make an impact by inspiring other people.” Emily, a future neurosurgeon who volunteers at St. Luke’s-Upper Bucks, is seeking to meet other people through HOBY and “build my skills to be a better speaker. I’d like to bring everyone together to build a sense of community.”

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

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 [email protected].

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