Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) has a long history of youth leadership development and community service. These values are at the core of our mission. Since 1958, HOBY has provided transformative leadership development training to over 570,000 high school students in the U.S. and abroad. Students who attend a State Leadership Seminar, a 3–4 day experience for high school sophomores, engage in leadership development activities, collaborate with other students from throughout the state, and explore leadership from three perspectives: individual, group, and society.
Each year, 10,000 students experience the magic of HOBY. These students return home with the skills and motivation to be of service to their local communities. Students like Georgena Williams, who after returning from her HOBY Seminar in Pennsylvania began volunteering at the Life Center, a local homeless shelter in her community that is committed to helping the homeless get back on their feet. She regularly prepares and serves meals to over 150 community members. Georgena also raised $13,000 for the shelter’s Life Center Meal Program. She says, “HOBY inspired me to be that beacon of hope, to help those currently at an obstacle in life to rise above. The seminar inspired me to do more, to take action instead of sitting back.”
After attending her State Leadership Seminar in Mid Florida, HOBY Alumna Mae McClintock was inspired to start South Tampa for Kids, a dance marathon that raised over $4,700 to fund new equipment for Shriners Hospital. South Tampa for Kids soon became an official non-profit organization whose mission was expended to help disadvantaged kids at local Title I elementary schools, with an emphasis on raising literacy rates. They’ve installed book swaps at local schools and set a goal of raising $8,000, which will benefit United Way’s Early Literacy Programs. South Tampa for Kids now has a committee of over 30 student members from six different high schools. Mae shares, “HOBY without a doubt changed my life, and helped me discover that giving back is what I want to do with my life.”
HOBY relies on community members and organizations to help steward the next generation of leaders like Georgena and Mae. Historically, organizations and individuals have worked with schools directly to sponsor students for HOBY. Last year, we debuted Community Nominations, a process by which community members, such as a coach, mentor, or a GFWC chapter could directly nominate a student to attend their local state leadership seminar. We are excited to continue offering Community Nominations as an avenue for students to attend a HOBY State Leadership Seminars.
How To Participate in HOBY Through Community Nominations
Beginning January 2020, HOBY accepts Community Nominations for sophomore students to attend a State Leadership Seminar. Nominations may come from community members and organizations such as Lions Clubs, Rotary, GFWC and others seeking the HOBY experience for their youth.
Selecting a Student:
Nominated sophomore students should demonstrate leadership qualities or potential at school or in their community. You may already know a standout sophomore that you want to nominate to HOBY. If not, consider partnering with a local school, teen center or community organization to make the opportunity available to a wider pool of students. Using a selection process such as in-Person interviews or an essay contest describing the most rewarding and challenging aspects of being a leader are all excellent avenues to glean leadership potential. Leadership ability surpasses gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic status. All sophomores should be considered in your selection. While young leaders often have excellent academic records, selections should not be based exclusively on GPA. Other traits to consider are outstanding communication skills, critical thinking, creative problem solving, strong decision making, sensitivity to others, charismatic personality, courage to speak out and challenge, interest in community service.
Support us in fulfilling our mission by giving more students the opportunity to attend a HOBY State Leadership Seminar. All it takes is one person to say “I believe in your power to make a difference.”