Outstanding sophomore leaders receive HOBY award

Julia Henry and Emily Wehr were selected for HOBY’s flagship program by school counselors.
Posted on 02/05/2021
Image of Emily Wehr, left, and Julia Henry.

By Gary Weckselblatt


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.


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.


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