From the Stow-Munroe Falls School District:
Stow-Munroe Falls High School senior Abigail Laber began her quest to learn more about becoming a leader during her sophomore year, and after completing 100 hours of volunteer service through the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) program, she earned the HOBY certificate of recognition.
“After attending the initial three-day leadership conference, I realized it was probably the best thing I’ve ever done,” Abigail explained.
Students from throughout Ohio had the opportunity to apply for the HOBY leadership program by writing an essay. Once they were selected, the students were invited to listen to speakers at a leadership seminar. They learned leadership doesn’t just happen, and it’s not assumed.
Abigail said she found that many of the speakers had come from less fortunate backgrounds, but they chose to be leaders and they grew and developed successful careers. Additionally, she learned about trust: Trust must earned and in order to keep that trust you don’t make questionable decisions if the outcome isn’t good for the future.
“When we arrived at the HOBY conference, I wasn’t sure what to expect," Abigail said. "I just wanted to learn. But by the time I left, I was willing to put myself out there to help others."
A rising leader herself, Abigail is the current Student Council president at SMFHS, a member of the Athletic Leadership Council, plays trumpet in the high school band and also volunteers outside of school at the Akron Food Bank, as well as on weekends as part of the AtNet Cares corporate volunteer program.
“I want to leave an impact on our school,” said the 17-year-old. “My parents encourage me to try to set goals and accomplish them — like the new sign that was installed at the high school this year.”
High school teachers and administrators have had the opportunity to help guide the teen to reach her goals.
“Abbey is a brilliant young lady with a heart of gold," said SMFHS Assistant Principal and former Student Council Advisor Amanda Murray. "She goes above and beyond to help everyone around her. She has made a great impact on her school and community. We will be sad to see Abbey go, but we know her future is bright!”
Mike Love, SMFHS teacher and Student Council Co-Adviser also added his perspective to Abigail’s leadership abilities.
"What stands out the most about Abbey is her ability to lead," Love said. "As the president of student council for the past year Abbey has put all of her effort and energy ensuring that events such as Homecoming, Technology Talks, Pep Rallies and other community service activities were successful."
Love continued, "As the student council adviser, I can always count on Abbey to be prepared for future events. Abbey has an incredible ability to plan out a schedule for organizing an event and she is able to communicate various important aspects of the events to those around her. I have truly enjoyed seeing Abbey use her many gifts and talents in order to transform Stow-Munroe Falls High School into a more loving and spirited educational community."