Eyes on the prize: Two student body presidents from the same family, have different aspirations for the future

Published 12:10 am Thursday, December 7, 2023

By Christian Simmons 

For the Clemmons Courier

CLEMMONS — Student body president. 

Some students love the allure of such a title while others run from the perceived responsibilities such an office holds.

This is a story of two students who strived to achieve the rank and what they believe the future will hold for them. 

Hobart Jones of West Forsyth High School and his sister, Laila, of Clemmons Middle School both entered their respective schools with similar goals — to become student body presidents.

Hobart, an 18-year-old junior, decided to run his campaign knowing his fellow students and with his charisma. 

“What I believed that I had more than my opponent, was that I was a better listener to the students,” Hobart said.

In spite of his opponent putting on an impressive campaign, Hobart never gave up and remained confident that in the end, he would win.  

And sure enough, Hobart won.

With his eyes focused on his future goal of becoming a United States Senator for the state of N.C., he plunged forward into his present duties as the new student body president for his school with eager anticipation. 

Along with how he portrayed himself before he even ran for student body president, Hobart’s win cemented his beliefs that he was destined to be a great politician and that he would one day be a great senator for all of the people in N.C. Helping more than just high school students, but the public at large. 

Laila, a 13-year-old, entered her race to the seat with her charm and connections to the students.

“I believe my edge was my connections with the sports team.” Laila said.

However, Laila found herself in similar circumstances with what she believed to be her opponent’s brilliant campaign, and winning in spite of it.

The two of them also shared similar strengths entering in their presidencies, such as connections with the student body, being a team player, time management, as well as confidence — not just that they would win their elections, but also the confidence that they could do the job of student body president successfully. 

With the two of them in office, they eagerly took to their roles immediately.

While presiding over their student-government offices, they were both changed. Having faced all the challenges of student body presidents, they became better students outside of the office.

“During my time as student body president, I’ve learned to not only speak to help my fellow students, but also to be a better listener to help them with their journey through high school,” Hobart said. “And listening to all my classmates’ issues and struggles, I’ve also become more empathetic towards them. Ultimately, I’ve become a better leader as well as being more open not only to my fellow classmates, but also to myself.”

“So far as student body president, I’ve learned how to prioritize tasks better and to give the necessary time to each task,” Laila said. “I’ve also learned how I can be more dependable and reliable.”

While they have all those things in common, they believed that their futures pulled them in opposite directions.

“Once high school is over, I plan on going into college majoring in political science, and ultimately ending up as a Senator so I can help people on a much grander scale,” Hobart said. 

Conversely, Laila had other plans after school was over.  She said, “While my time as student body president is an enjoyable experience, after I finish all my schooling, I plan on leaving all the politics behind and pursue other dreams.” 

While these two students planned to go their separate ways after school, the two of them spoke about their futures with hope, confidence and faith.