What people are saying about HOBY...
Colin Powell, Former US Secretary of State
The mission of America’s Promise is to equip the next generation of Americans with the character and competence they need to be successful adults. Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) is one of our staunch allies in this crusade... HOBY is encouraging each of the thousands of high school sophomores who attend these leadership seminars to volunteer at least a hundred hours a year to a community service project. The HOBY commitment to America’s Promise will produce at least 1,400,000 volunteer service hours a year.
Kahla Vise, 2010 HOBY Maine Alumna
Two years ago, when I was nominated to attend the Hugh O' Brian Youth leadership conference (HOBY for short), I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. My friend, who had gone the year before, told me to be outgoing. So, with that in mind, I went to HOBY, and had one of the greatest times of my life! I met amazing people, made great friends and learned a lot about the importance of leadership and community service. In fact, one of our days at the conference was almost entirely devoted to helping the YMCA, whether it was cleaning their pool or painting picnic tables. After HOBY, I started to involve myself more in community service, and became a Peer Mentor. To date, it's been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
Walter Cronkite, Award Winning Journalist and CBS Reporter
Perhaps most importantly Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) has created a vehicle by which tomorrow’s leaders can interact with one another and with today's leaders in learning more about themselves and the institutions which they will shape in future years.
Victoria Bernard, 2009 HOBY Maine Alumna
I love HOBY because it taught me how to develop my skills as a leader and use them in the most useful way possible- in helping others. Being a leader is about two things; being there for those who follow you, and recognizing the impact that you and those around you can have on society. HOBY highlighted those ideas in a fantastic, fun, and energetic light that pushed me to look at my life in terms of how I impact others. It is possible that I could have learned these lessons on my own, but it would have lacked the memories, friendships, and all the excitement that is HOBY, for which I am truly grateful to have experienced. I am a HOBY alumni, I always will be, and I'm proud of it!
Andrea Levinsky, 2008 Alumna
I get the most satisfaction out of volunteering for the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) Conference because it allows me to empower young people to make a difference in their communities. I love being part of a team that is so committed to youth empowerment and development.
I have been volunteering with this organization since 2009 and have held several positions. For several years I have been the financial manager of the alumni association meaning that I help to organize fundraisers in order to pay for the non-profit seminar.
What is even more meaningful to me, however, is when I return every year as an alumni facilitator. It is so meaningful when students come up to me and say that I have helped them to realize their leadership potential, inspired them to take action, or understand a problem in society.
I remember specifically one scenario in which I was facilitating an activity in which the students had to figure out how to work together to solve problems. I noticed that one student in the group was dominating the conversation and taking on an overly dominant leadership role. I decided to intervene so that the other, more shy students would have to step up and lead the activity. I could immediately tell that my action had a profound impact on the student, but I could not tell why. I was hoping to teach her that she does not always have to be an “out-front” leader, while also teaching the others they have the potential to be more outgoing leaders. It was not until the closing circle of the conference that I found out that my facilitation technique was one of the things that most greatly impacted the student all weekend. She talked about how my intervention made her realize that she can be controlling and leadership does not always mean being in front of the group. I was so touched that I helped to lead the student to that act of discovery.
I love volunteering for HOBY because I am given the opportunity to inspire young people to take action and use their leadership for service.