RHS sophomore receives leadership award

Avery Miller-Dakota , Staff Reporter

As RHS seniors finalize their college applications, stress becomes contagious throughout the entire school. Many underclassmen begin to reevaluate their own high school experiences thus far. Sophomore Cole McKee began to assess his own high school experiences and wondered what more he could accomplish. What McKee did not know was an email penned by his counselors was circulating, asking all Revere teachers to provide a list of leadership worthy students. Later that week McKee was summoned to the guidance office. He had been chosen and given the opportunity to win the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) award along with twenty-two other Revere students. McKee’s leadership skills were about to be tested.

McKee received the HOBY award for exhibiting outstanding leadership abilities and contributing to the sense of community Revere strives to display. This national award is given annually to one sophomore per high school who exhibits blinding leadership characteristics in not only his or her place of education but also his or her community. RHS counselor Jenny Kirchner expanded upon what it takes to become a HOBY award medalist.

“[HOBY] is a youth leadership conference geared at current sophomores. It is [for] students wanting to broaden their leadership skills. They go to the University of Akron . . . [for a] long weekend conference about leadership. They work with others and go to classes and seminars. The goal is for them to come back and . . . make a difference in our building,” Kirchner said.

Kirchner described the process McKee went through in order to apply and participate in this opportunity.

“I put out an email out to all the teachers asking them for any current tenth grade leaders. I gathered all the students and [told] them they had to write an essay. All the students who followed through and wrote the essay did an interview. We conducted fifteen to eighteen  interviews. We then had to pick one student for the HOBY [Hugh O’Brian Youth] conference,” Kirchner said.

Although the process may seem strenuous, McKee proved worthy. Aside from the honor of being nominated, McKee engaged in an interview with RHS Principal Phil King, the three counselors and a HOBY representative. McKee outlined his interview process.

“During the interview, I was asked many questions about what kind of leader I consider myself to be. I was also asked [to] detail any leadership positions I led and to explain how I am a leader in the school and the community,” McKee said.

Aside from excelling in the athletic world, McKee brings his leadership skills to the “courtroom” as he is a first year mock trial participant and to his household where he fills the role of older brother. These characteristics exhibit only a glimpse of why McKee deserved to have his name associated with the HOBY foundation. King reflected on his interpretation of events.

“I am very pleased to have interviewed such a strong field of students for the Hugh O’Brien Award.  [McKee] is going to be a fantastic representative from Revere High School.  We wish him much success as he continues to incorporate the skills acquired at the conference,” King said.

McKee will travel to the University of Akron to partake in the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference in May where he will enhance and continue to develop his leadership abilities with other HOBY award recipients. Though McKee will not begin to look at colleges much less fill out applications for another year, he does not fail to impress his peers, teachers and community.