Katie Lockhart selected Lowndes Academy HOBY ambassador

Published 1:41 pm Thursday, February 23, 2023

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Lowndes Academy has selected sophomore Katie Lockhart to represent the school as student ambassador at the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference (HOBY) hosted by Troy University on May 26-28.

Lockhart was one of nine Academy sophomores who applied for the opportunity and according to school counselor, April Lane, was selected for her academic and behavioral record as well as an essay describing what she feels is the most difficult part of being a leader in her school.

“We had nine students who were interested and we gathered teacher evaluations [for those students],” Lane said. “After scoring the teacher evaluations and the essay, Katie was announced as the winner.” 

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HOBY is a nonprofit organization founded by former U.S. Marine and actor Hugh O’Brian in 1958 with a mission to inspire a global community of youth and volunteers to a life of leadership, service, and innovation. Each spring, more than 10,000 high school sophomores like Lockhart participate in one of more than 70 leadership seminars to develop their leadership skills and learn how to become effective, ethical leaders in their homes, schools, workplaces, and communities.

“The conference will be a unique leadership training, service learning, and motivational experience,” Lane said. “It gives students an opportunity to expand their horizons and see how they can make a difference and become more of an active member of their community.”

Lockhart said she applied for the opportunity out of a desire to gain leadership skills.

“[HOBY] helps with leadership skills,” Lockhart said. “I was really interested in going. Everybody I talked to said it would be a great experience and a lot of fun.”

Layne Moore, Katie’s mother, described her daughter as the type of person for whom leadership comes naturally.

“Katie is a natural leader,” Moore said. “She is very responsible and takes the initiative herself in everything she does. She’s never been one I’ve had to stay on about her homework or grades. She always wants to get things done before they are due. She’s a naturally responsible child and I’m very fortunate.”

Lane agreed and noted that Lockhart displays leadership among her peers.

“Katie is a dynamic leader in her class and works really hard for her grades,” Lane said. “She’s an overall great representative of Lowndes Academy.”

For Lockhart, who said she can be quiet and shy at times, HOBY represents the chance to become more comfortable taking on leadership roles.

“I’m really shy and quiet.,” Lockhart said. “I hope [the conference] will help with that and give me skills I can use at school and in my community.”

Moore said she is proud of her daughter and excited about what Lockhart will gain from the experience.

“I’m just so proud of her for being selected for this opportunity,” Moore said. “I’m excited for what she will learn from this experience.”

Lane represented Autauga Academy at the HOBY conference in 1992. Now she coordinates the opportunity for Lowndes students and said the academy has participated in the program as far back as she can remember.

“As long as I can remember we’ve had a representative from the school at the conference,” Lane said. “I went to Autauga Academy and met one of my best friends from Lowndes at HOBY.”

Lane did not lead the initiative this year, because her own daughter is a sophomore eligible for selection. Instead, Lowndes Academy high school math teacher, Samantha Wright, handled the selection process.

Today, more than 500,000 HOBY around the world dedicate their lives to making a difference to others. To learn more about HOBY, visit hoby.org.