Toronto student wins leadership essay award

TORONTO – City high school sophomore Emily Rodesh recently was named the winner of the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership award.

To qualify for the honor honor, high school sophomores were required to write an essay about leadership. The winner was selected from the essays that were submitted. Rodesh, the daughter of John and Carolyn Rodesh, said the essay reflected on the qualities of good leadership.

“It was about the good things that come out of being a leader,” said Rodesh, who considers herself a leader. “I think leadership is about seeing the outcome when you help someone and see their success. I’m a section leader in the (Toronto High School) Band and (sophomore) class president right now.”

Maureen Taggart, high school principal and district communications coordinator, said she also considers Rodesh a leader.

“(Rodesh) is a really good performer,” said Taggart. “She sings and plays guitar. It takes a lot of self-confidence and courage to be able to do that.”

Rodesh will attend a leadership conference in the spring at Mount Union College. She said she’s interested in majoring in music after she graduates from high school.

Founded in 1958, the Hugh O’Brien Youth organization’s mission is to inspire and develop the global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service and innovation, said Taggart. HOBY programs are conducted annually throughout the United States, serving local and international high school students, she added.

HOBY programs provide youth selected by their schools to participate in unique leadership training, service-learning and motivation-building experiences that are based on a core set of values that include volunteerism, integrity, excellence, diversity and community partnerships, Taggart continued.

“As the Toronto High School HOBY winner, Emily will participate in a youth leadership seminar,” said Taggart. “We only recognize one sophomore with this award, so it’s a pretty big deal.”