Dawson County High School sophomores Matthew Holton and Cullen McDonald were named the 2012 Hugh O'Brian Leadership Award recipients last week.
Presented annually by the Dawson County Woman's Club, the award recognizes outstanding students for their leadership and service to community.
Holton's twin brother James, also a sophomore, will serve as the alternate for the conference that the O'Brian youth leadership development organization puts on each year.
The trio was chosen from nearly a dozen students who applied to participate in the leadership opportunity.
Mary Mullineaux of the woman's club made the presentation during the Nov. 12 meeting of the Dawson County Board of Education.
"The mission of HOBY is to inspire and develop in youth a life dedicated to leadership and service," she said.
A member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, Future Business Leaders of America and a private in the high school's JROTC, McDonald said being recognized is an overwhelming feeling.
"It's really a big honor to be receiving this award and to be trusted to represent the high school and the woman's club," he said. "This is opening a lot of doors for me."
Matthew Holton is also involved in Beta Club and the National Honor Society, as well as the Future Farmers of America and the Technology Students Association.
"The leadership skills we'll gain from this will really help us in the future. This is a really big opportunity," he said.
Alternate James Holton's involvement at the high school includes the National Honor Society, Beta Club and Future Farmers of America. He also serves as sophomore class secretary.
"Just being recognized is a really big honor. And even if I can't go, I'll have my brother there and we can both talk about it and learn from it," he said.
Father Ed Holton said he is extremely proud of his boys.
"We've always expected a lot out of them, and now they expect a lot out of themselves. As a parent, that makes us very proud," he said.
The conference will be held June 1-3 at Berry College.