E. Meadow High student named an elite leader


An East Meadow High School sophomore was recently selected to participate in an elite national leadership conference, district officials said.

Kristen Kavanagh was named the school’s Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership ambassador. HOBY, founded in 1958, is an organization that inspires young people and volunteers to live lives dedicated to leadership, service and innovation, in addition to developing a global community, according to its website

HOBY programs are conducted annually throughout the United States, serving local and international high school students. The programs provide students selected by their schools to participate with unique leadership training, service learning and motivation-building experiences, according to the group.

As an ambassador, Kavanagh will participate in the annual HOBY Leadership Conference later this year. District officials said she would collaborate with recognized leaders in business, government, education and other professions to discuss current worldly issues.

Kavanagh was selected for this honor through a rigorous process that included an interview by faculty, administrators and a former HOBY ambassador. School officials said she unanimously impressed the panel with her poise, confidence, insight and genuine concern for others.

Kavanagh is a very conscientious student who is involved in various extracurricular activities, district leaders added. She is a member of the East Meadow High School’s kickline team, a Jet Gazette news editor and an active member of National English Honor Society and Students Against Destructive Decisions organization.

During her time as a Girl Scout, Kristen earned Bronze and Silver Awards; she is currently working toward her Gold Award, which is the highest honor. To obtain this award, she must teach an interaction skill to young people. Seeing a dwindling in people’s social skills, Kavanagh created an acronym, “SMILE” — Smile, Manners, Interpersonal Skills, Listen and Eye Contact — for people to easily remember the key aspects of interaction with others.

Kavanagh aspires to earn a doctorate in education and become an elementary school teacher.

HOBY has more than 375,000 proud alumni. According to the their website, they are now leaders in their schools and communities, throughout the United States and the world, making a difference for others through service.