Klein Students Win Leadership Awards from Youth Leadership Conference.


Photo Curiosity of Blanca Lujan

Picture of both Abigail and Carla receiving their HOBY certificates

Michael Williams, Staff Writer

Courtesy of Hugh O’Brian Leadership

Over the summer; juniors Carla Lujan, Adrian Atienza, Kristi Boettcher, and Abigail Sweeney; were selected to attend the Hugh O’Brain Youth Leadership Conference (HOBY). Lujan received the spirit award; Sweeney was selected as a finalist for the Worldwide Leadership Conference. The event took place on the campus of the University of Houston on June 7 – 9.


“I was very excited,” Carla Lujan said. “There were so many awesome leaders in the whole youth conference and when they said my name I was like ‘there’s absolutely no way’.”


Sweeney was chosen for her leadership skills by the Gulf Coast Leadership team; as a runnerup to attend the HOBY Youth Leadership Congress. More than 200 students; from public and private high schools; participated in the event. Because of her enthusiastic support and attitude; Lujan was one of many Spirit award winners.


“The tools I learned at HOBY have and will help me for the rest of my life,” Sweeney said. “At the conference, I learned many things; like how to spark engagement for everyone; instead of being the only one to raise your hand in class.”


The HOBY initiative is intended to teach; young people. Founded in 1958 by Hugh O’Brain; HOBY provides lifelong leadership development opportunities that empower the youth to achieve their highest potential; gaining knowledge of leadership skills. 


Not only do they teach you leadership skills; but they teach you how to deal with different people,” Lujan said. “They really showed what true leadership is like; I recommend it to other sophomores.”


In April; the students were the chosen ambassadors; from HOBY of Klein. Counselors suggest it to sophomores who they think should go to the conference. Students are asked to write an essay and submit it to their counselors; for evaluation. Whether they are submitted to the conference or not; they are told later.


“I had a blast at this year’s Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference,” Sweeney said. “It felt good to have been chosen; as a finalist for the Conference. It truly made me feel like a leader, amongst other leaders. I would strongly recommend that you apply it to other sophomores; even if you’re shy; HOBY can help with that. This conference can help any type of leader; I hope every sophomore applies.”


By 1998, HOBY celebrated its 40th Anniversary and launched a new initiative, Leadership for Service; challenging all HOBY ambassadors to commit to 100 hours of community service. Hugh O’Brain’s belief in the potential of every human being and commitment to helping the youth of the world; became major contributors to society.


“If you as a leader want to do something, and you want to achieve a goal; then you want everyone on board,” Lujan said. “Everyone needs to be on the same page in order for that to happen.”


HOBY is known for its impact on students; showing them new ways of looking at leadership. It helps them approach different scenarios and situations in a better more positive way. 


I have a new outlook on leadership after the conference,” Sweeney said. “They show how to be a leader when you need a leader.”