HOBY MD Annual Seminar


“Because of HOBY, I learned that I am not defined by my weaknesses, instead I thrive on them.”

Ivan2020 Alumn

“Because of HOBY, I will leave places better than when I found them!”

Ryan2020 Alumn

“When they said this program was going to change my life I didn’t really believe it until now. ”

Maya2020 Alumn

“I can’t get over how fun this experience is. I’m so happy to be here.”

Morgan2020 Alumn

“Wow. Mind blown. HOBY really is a life changer.”

Fiza2020 Alumn

“Wow, this is going to change me. Thank you.”

Mauricio2020 Alumn

2024 Seminar

The 2024 Maryland Leadership Seminar will take place June 6–9 at Towson University in Towson, Maryland.

During the seminar there will be panels and keynote speakers on topics including entrepreneurship, diversity, education, and volunteerism. After each session, ambassadors will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the subjects with their peers.

Ambassadors will practice leadership skills through Leadership Labs; a variety of hands-on and fun activities.

Each year we complete a service project to benefit the local community.

All of the hard work and learning is balanced with activities dedicated solely to fun, including an Ambassador Talent Showcase and a dance with a game room.

Watch a highlights slideshow from a past seminar.

View photos from past seminars on our SmugMug page.

A typical seminar weekend includes:

Welcome to HOBY

Multiple group times throughout seminar

Personal Leadership Introduction, Keynote, Activity and Reflection

Group Leadership Introduction, Keynote, Activity and Reflection

Social Responsibility Introduction, Keynote, Service Activity and Reflection

Gratitude Activity, such as thank you notes

Social Activities, including our Talent Show and Dance

Closing Ceremony

The Social Change Model of Leadership

HOBY teaches the social change model of leadership to its participants and volunteers.

Primary goals

1. To enhance student learning and development.

  • Self-knowledge: understanding of one’s talents, values, interests, especially as these relate to the student’s capacity to provide effective leadership; and
  • Leadership Competence: the capacity to mobilize oneself and others to serve and work collaboratively.

2. To facilitate positive social change.

High school sophomores are chosen because their age is critical in focusing on future goals and forming opinions for adulthood. They have the opportunity to create a “ripple effect” from their HOBY experience in their remaining high school years and beyond.

This model of leadership enhances the development of leadership qualities in all participants — those who hold formal leadership positions as well as those who do not — and promotes a process that actively engages all who wish to contribute.

Key Lessons

The social change model allows students to describe HOBY and what they learn in a tangible way, and provide tools they can use in future leadership situations. The basic premises of this model are:

  • Leadership is a process rather than a position.
  • To promote the values of equity, social justice, self-knowledge, personal empowerment, collaboration, citizenship, and service
  • That service provides a powerful vehicle for developing student leadership capabilities in a collaborative environment; learning happens by “making meaning” of life experiences

Three Perspectives

Since this approach is embedded in collaboration and concerned with fostering social change, the model examines leadership development from three different perspectives:

1) The Individual: To foster and develop personal leadership qualities in those who participate; consider the personal qualities that are most supportive of group functioning and positive social change.

2) The Group: To design a collaborative leadership development process not only to facilitate the development of the desired, individual qualities (above), but also to affect positive social change.

3) The Community/Society: To direct the leadership development activity towards a social end; to consider kinds of service activities that are the most effective in energizing the group and in developing desired personal qualities in the individual; to emphasize the responsibility of leaders to contribute to positive change.

UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs)

The United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (also known as the SDGs or Global Goals) is a set of independent, yet interconnected goals. They were developed and adopted by 195 Countries, including the United States of America, to set a vision for a world free of poverty, hunger, disease, and want. The SDG’s represent a universal agreement to raise the conditions of the world for everyone.

In 2019, the HOBY Board of Trustees made an organizational commitment to supporting the Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs have been integrated into our leadership seminar curriculum in alignment with the Social Change Model of Leadership. HOBY Leadership Seminars will introduce and take action on the Sustainable Development Goals component of social responsibility and citizenship.

When student begin their experience with HOBY, most identify themselves as members of a community. Many have even been involved in volunteer service. Our goal is to push them into becoming conscientious world citizens, by thinking critically about society’s issues. One way we do that is by educating students about the SDGs, including how they can contribute to advancing these goals and live sustainably.

The skills they learn at the seminar will further push them beyond simply thinking about these goals and social issues, and into the status of an active citizen where they are continuing to be involved in the education and action process.


Each September, Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership sends nomination materials to all public and private high schools in the United States. Each school selects an outstanding sophomore, based on their leadership potential, and nominates that student to represent their school at their state seminar.

It costs $450 per sophomore for the four days of activities at the state seminar. The school is asked to pay a registration fee of $250 by December 8th, 2023, or $300 if registered thereafter. Sometimes this fee is paid by the parent. The all-volunteer Maryland committee raises the state seminar expenses for room and board, copies and postage, and program supplies from generous sponsorships from the private sector, service organizations, and individuals. Women’s Clubs, Jaycees, Kiwanis, and Optimists financially sponsor individual schools to the seminar.

For more information on participating in HOBY programs, contact our recruitment team.

Our 2024 Donors

HOBY Maryland has been developing youth leaders since 1979, and we can’t do it without our dedicated and generous sponsors:

Silver Level Sponsors


Bronze Level Sponsors

Certain Teed LLC
Chaberton Energy
Mechanical Contractors Association of Metropolitan Washington
Naval Systems Inc
Optimist Club of Dundalk
The Belt Group

Ambassador Sponsors

ACE Consulting Group LLC
ACNB Insurance Services
AES Warrior Run LLC
Aging Well Eldercare
Annapolis Pain Management
Archway Station Inc
Bainbridge Development Corporation
Bayview Management
BCV Commercial Realty LLC
Berkshire Hathaway Canton
Berman, Sobin, Gross LLP
Better Health Physical Therapy LLC
Blue Fence Advisors
Bmore Attorney
Brunetto State Farm Agency
BTS Software Solutions LLC
Builders Surplus Center Inc
Charles County Fair Inc.
Cherry Hill Optimists
City of Hagerstown
Community Foundation of Frederick County
Complete Chiropractic & Rehabilitation LLC
David Uhlfelder
Deep Creek Lavender Farm
Delaney & Keffler LLC
Devlin Architecture
Dickinson Law
Disability Associates LLC
DK Law Group LLC
Downtown Sykesville Connection
Dreamers Event Rentals
Dundalk Optimists
E&R Business Consulting
Edward St. John Foundation
Edwards Performance Solutions
Farm to School Frederick
Feehan Law Group
Fort Smallwood Optimist Club
Frederick Choice Digital
Frederick Women’s Civic Club, Inc
Frigid Illustration
Galvin Law LLC
Geppert, McMullen, Paye & Getty
GFWC Joppatowne Woman’s Club
Greater Jacksonville Optimists

Greater Waldorf Jaycees
Greenberg Gibbons
Halle Family Foundation Inc.
Harry H. Witzke’s Family Funeral Home
Hereford Optimist Club
Iliff, Meredith, Wildberger & Brennan, PC
Inhouse Patent Counsel LLC
Insuraty Inc
Jezic & Moyse LLC
Joseph Wyrwas
Kilby’s Inc.
Kiwanis Club of Mount Airy
Kiwanis Club of Rockville
Kiwanis Club of Towson-Timonium
Kollman & Saucier PA
Kowitz Law Group
KSQUARED Technology Consulting
Lakeside at Trappe (Allen & Rocks, Inc.)
Law Office of Isaac H Marks Sr LLC
Law Office of Lilian Rodriguez LLC
Law Offices of Sally B Gold LLC
LCJ Styles
Local Management Board of Allegany County, Inc.
Loch Raven Optimists
Lombardo Ayers & Company LLC
Lothian Ruritan Club
M Lynn Williams LLC
Marathon Santa
Maryland Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association
Maryland Horse Breeders Association
Maryland Psychiatric Research Center (MPRC)
Maryland Stone Masonry & Repair
MD JCI Senate Inc
Move 4 Life
Natalie Gaudette
NextEra Energy Resources
Ocean City / Berlin Optimist Club
Old Dominion Electric Cooperative
Optimist Club of Annapolis
Optimist Club of Frederick
Optimist Club of Mechanicsville
Optimist Club of Solomons
Optimist Club of the 7th District
Overlea-Perry Hall American Legion Post 130

Phi Sigma Pi, Gamma Pi (Towson University)
pLink Leadership
Preston Automotive Group
Quincy CFO LLC
Randy’s Crew
Reid & Reid Inc
Salisbury Jaycees Foundation
Satella Power
Seaside Plumbing
Shawe Rosenthal LLP
Shulman Rogers
Somerset Trust Company
Stanley Bus Co., INC
Sykesville-South Carroll Rotary Club
Tailored Access
Talkie Communications – Queen Anne’s
The Jen Holden Group of Compass
The Law Office of Stephanie Darling
The Optimist Club of Lexington Park/St. Maries
The Optimist Club of Salisbury MD Inc
Thunderbolt Global Logistics
Thurman Page
Timonium Optimist Foundation
Trails End Pet Sitting
TransTechSol LLC
Walmart – Germantown
Wepco Federal Credit Union
Westminster Rotary
Winbak Farm

Additional Donors

Aaron Bernstein
Alfred L Scanlan Jr LLC
Andrew & Christine Desrochers
Anne & William Yakaitis
Benjamin Niu Estes
Bentley Corbett-Wilson
Beth Lucas
Caitlyn Rund
Camilla Shanley
Cecil County Board of Realtors
Chris Frye
Christopher Mathews
Clark Construction Group LLC
Colbert Law Firm LLC
Costco – Gaithersburg
Costco – Owings Mills
David Derochers
Debra Brown
Delaney Jones
Elaina Elrick
Elva Joya
Emily Prechtl
Emmie Voss
GFWC Centennial Club of Western District (Western District Juniors)
GFWC Junior Woman’s Club of Pocomoke
GFWC Junior Women’s Civic Club of Cumberland
GFWC Laytonsville Woman’s Club

GFWC Wicomico Women’s Club Inc
GFWC Woman’s Club of Dundalk
GFWC Woman’s Club of Linthicum Heights, Inc.
GFWC Women’s Club of Laurel, Inc
GFWC Women’s Club of Laurel, Inc
GFWC Women’s Club of Westminster Inc
Giant – Bethesda
Giant – Cockeysville
Giant – Gaithersburg
Giant – Germantown
Giant – Glen Burnie
Giant – Parkville
Giant – Potomac
Herr’s Chips
Hollywood-Leonardtown Optimist Club
Jackie DeCarlo
Jameila Pennant
Jamie Alvarado-Taylor
Janis Thom – Lawyer
Jayla Bryant
Jim Wass
Justin Finamore
Kalynn Stoner
Kelly Kaczka Brantner
Kitty Moon Dorsey
Kiwanis Foundation of Crofton
Lana Williamson
Larry & Veronica Bohn
Logan Krebs

Luke Dragonette
Maddie Tulkop
Matthew Talley
Mia Kimboko
Michelle Couste
Morgan Pringle
Nandos PERi-PERi Waugh Chapel
Nia Ragin
Olaoluwadeji Jones
Optimist Club of Calvert
Rebecca Riddervold
Robby May
Roxana Joya
Ryan Buggy
Shawn Kelly
SkipJack Crossfit
Smitson Law LLC
Target – Rockville
Titan Hospitality Group
Town of Snow Hill
Towson American Legion Auxiliary
Wegmans – Owings Mills
Westminster Kiwanis Club
Women’s Club of Perry Hall
WOW – Women Optimizing Women, LLC
Zainab Mirza