East Meadow’s Leilani Blakeman named HOBY ambassador


Leilani Blakeman, a sophomore at East Meadow High School, spends her time tackling world issues in the school’s World Hunger Action and Key clubs, debating in the school’s Model Congress, and participating in a number of other artistic and academic extracurricular clubs.

Now, Blakeman is on her way to a new chapter in her high school career as she was recently recognized as a Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership ambassador for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Blakeman was selected after an extensive procedure that included an interview by high school faculty, administration and a former HOBY ambassador. The committee of judges unanimously agreed that they were impressed by her poise, confidence and genuine concern for others.

“We are very proud to be represented by [Blakeman],” said Mona Allen, the chairperson of the HOBY Committee and a guidance counselor at East Meadow High School. “She is mature, intelligent, sincere and a natural leader,” Allen continued.

HOBY was founded in 1958 and has since been providing young scholars with leadership, cultural and academic opportunities with other members across the globe. One of which includes the World Leadership Congress, which, each summer, unites over 400 students from 20 different countries for a week full of interactive workshops, field trips, and community service projects. As an ambassador, Blakeman can participate in a multitude of HOBY programs like this.

At East Meadow High School, Blakeman is involved in the World Hunger Action Club, Key Club, Model Congress, Theatre Guild and is treasurer of the school’s choir. She is enrolled in Advanced Placement and honors classes and is also an active member of the English, Social Studies and Tri-M Music honor societies.

Outside of school, Blakeman takes private dance lessons and is active in the regional and local theater community. She said that her proudest moment in theater was making it to the final callback for the part of young Cosette in “Les Miserables,” on Broadway.