Paige Harris to Serve as AHS Hugh O’Brien Youth Ambassador

Paige Harris to Serve as AHS Hugh O’Brien Youth Ambassador
Posted on 04/26/2024

Paige Harris to Serve as AHS Hugh O’Brien Youth Ambassador

LOW MOOR — Alleghany High School sophomore Paige Harris has been selected as this year’s Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Ambassador. 

Harris will serve as the school nominee for a special statewide leadership conference known as the Virginia HOBY Leadership Seminar in the late spring in Harrisonburg. Her attendance is sponsored by the AHS Counseling Department.

HOBY was founded in 1958 by Hugh O’Brian, an actor who sought to inspire youth to make choices about their life when they were around 15 years old. He decided to seek out high school sophomores who exhibited the characteristics of student leaders and give them an experience that would inspire them to become even more outstanding. 

The HOBY award is given to sophomores throughout the country who best represent characteristics such as outstanding communication skills, sensitivity to the needs and concerns of others, courage to speak out for one’s beliefs and strong decision-making skills.  Over the years, HOBY has empowered more than 500,000 young high school students with leadership training.

Statewide seminars and other events focus on leadership topics such as current events, public speaking, and developing self-confidence. Core values emphasized by HOBY events include integrity and volunteerism.  

A strong student, Harris’ interests include playing volleyball. She is interested in education for a future career.  

Harris says she is very excited to attend the upcoming HOBY event and she’s looking forward to meeting new people and having new experiences. 

Riley Spangler, who is a senior at Alleghany High School, served as Covington High School’s HOBY ambassador in 2022. She said her experience as a HOBY ambassador helped her to develop important character and leadership skills. 

“HOBY is an extremely vital experience. It teaches you about the importance of leadership, but also how to work as a team member with others who are leaders just like you. It also instills in you the value of giving back to your community through service. You meet so many new people and are exposed to the diversity of the state across all regions. I’ve made lasting friendships because of the HOBY conference and built so many important character skills,” Spangler said.

Local high schools have a longstanding tradition of sending student representatives to the Virginia HOBY event thanks to strong community support. AHPS Superintendent Kim Halterman represented AHS as a HOBY ambassador in 1995.

“One of my first ‘real’ public speaking opportunities was visiting the Covington Woman’s Club and thanking them for sponsoring my HOBY seminar attendance. Feeling that community support meant a great deal to me,” Halterman said.

Individuals or groups that are interested in sponsoring future HOBY ambassadors can contact the AHS Counseling Department. The telephone number is (540) 863-1700.

“It is always a pleasure and honor to select a very special young person to attend the HOBY Leadership Conference,” said AHS School Counselor Sonya Howell.

With approximately 2,700 students, AHPS was created when Alleghany County Public Schools, Covington City Public Schools, and Jackson River Technical Center merged in July 2022. The school division is jointly funded by Alleghany County and the City of Covington.

AHPS news and events are regularly updated on Facebook at AHPublicSchools and Instagram at ahpublicschools. Information is also available at


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