Frequently Asked Questions from students and parents

What is HOBY?

What is the purpose of the state leadership seminar?

How are students selected to attend a HOBY Leadership Seminar?

What do students receive by attending their state leadership seminar?

What are the benefits after attending a HOBY Leadership Seminar?

Who pays for the seminar?

What kind of supervision is provided at the leadership seminar?

If necessary, how may I contact HOBY during the Seminar weekend?

What transportation arrangements have been made?

What are the accomodations like?

What if I am unable to attend the seminar?

Where and when is the seminar held?

Who may I contact should I have additional questions?

Q: What is HOBY?

Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) is a non-profit organization committed to inspiring and developing our global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service, and innovation. Founded in Los Angeles, California in 1958 by actor Hugh O’Brian, HOBY programs provide youth selected by their schools to participate in unique leadership training, service-learning and motivation-building experiences. HOBY also provides adults with opportunities to make a significant impact on the lives of youth by volunteering. Over 4,000 committed HOBY volunteers plan and execute the programs each year, serving both at the local HOBY affiliate level and on HOBY’s Board of Trustees. Due to the selfless efforts of volunteers and the contributions of generous donors, nearly 9,000 students participate in HOBY programs annually. Today, over 375,000 proud alumni make HOBY stronger than ever. HOBY alumni are leaders in their schools and communities, throughout the United States and the world, making a difference for others through service. Back to top

Q: What is the purpose of the state leadership seminar?

The seminar supports the primary objectives of Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership: motivate and empower individuals to make a positive difference within our global society through understanding and action based on effective and compassionate leadership; to interface these potential leaders with recognized leaders in business, industry, government, science, education, and the professions through give and take workshops; to stimulate opportunities for these young people to demonstrate their leadership abilities when they return home for betterment of community and country. Back to top

Q: How are students selected to attend a HOBY Leadership Seminar?

Each October, the National Association of Secondary School Principals sends nomination materials to all 22,500 public and private high schools in the United States. Each school selects an outstanding sophomore, based on their leadership potential, to represent their school at their state seminar. Since only one student is selected, it is an honor to be recognized as a leader among peers. Back to top

Q: What do students receive by attending their state leadership seminar?

Known as HOBY’s flagship program, the Leadership Seminar is designed for seminar attendees, or HOBY Ambassadors as they are called, to recognize their leadership talents and apply them in becoming effective, ethical leaders in their home, schools, workplace and community. The high level of energy, encouragement and motivation as well as the interaction with peers, panelists and volunteers are important elements in nurturing the students’ future leadership roles. In addition, students participate in hands-on leadership activities and meet state leaders in such as areas as business, government, education, media and the non-profit sector. Ambassadors will also participate in a service learning community project. Throughout the seminar, students build new friendships and networks for the future. Back to top

Q: What are the benefits after attending a HOBY Leadership Seminar?

Many Ambassadors return home with a new vitality, a greater sense of purpose, and a new set of resources that they can use to make their schools and communities better places in which to live. With this new enthusiasm, HOBY Ambassadors can create a ripple effect of social responsibility in their communities. Ambassadors are asked to become part of HOBY’s commitment to the “President’s Summit for America’s Future”. By undertaking a community service project(s) involving at least 100 hours, they have the opportunity to join 8,000 other HOBY Ambassadors in making a difference in your school, community, place of worship, or other “environment”. Alumni can continue their involvement by attending Alumni functions, volunteering for the annual leadership seminar, or teaching at a one-day Community Leadership Workshop (CLeW) held in local communities. HOBY seminar attendance can be added to resumes and college applications. Alumni are eligible to receive Ambassador Leadership Scholarships from various colleges and universities to help fund higher education through graduate school. Back to top

Q: Who pays for the seminar?

The school is asked to pay a registration fee of $150 to HOBY International (our offices in Los Angeles). Sometimes this fee is paid by the parent. The all-volunteer Maryland committee raises the state seminar expenses for room & board, copies & postage, and program supplies (approximately $65,000) 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. Back to top

Q: What kind of supervision is provided at the leadership seminar?

The seminar is chaperoned by qualified adult male and female facilitators who stay at the facility 24 hours a day. Most facilitators were HOBY Ambassadors and now volunteer their time. Groups of 8-10 Ambassadors are organized into small teams led by an adult facilitator. Recent HOBY Alumni are assigned as assistants or in the Operations Office. Back to top

Q: If necessary, how may I contact HOBY during the Seminar weekend?

Parents and friends are discouraged from calling students during the seminar due to the confusion created when meetings are interrupted. In case of emergency, parents or guardians may call the Mount St. Mary’s Campus Security Office at (301) 443-5357. Program participants and their families are provided with additional emergency cell phone numbers. The dorms do not have phones. Back to top

Q: What transportation arrangements have been made?

We are unable to provide transportation to and from the seminar. It is the parent’s responsibility. Back to top

Q: What are the accomodations like?

Participants will be assigned to dormitory rooms with two to three participants to room on floors reserved exclusively for the seminar. Everyone will receive nutritious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Students should have eaten breakfast prior to arrival on Friday. Back to top

Q: What if I am unable to attend the seminar?

If circumstances arise that prevent you from attending, we want to give another student from your school the opportunity to attend. Please notify the person at your school who selected you, and email the seminar chair at seminarchair@hobymd.org. Back to top

Q: Where and when is the seminar held?

The Maryland Leadership Seminar takes place at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland on the Thursday to Sunday just before Memorial Day Weekend. MSM is located at 15300 Old Emmitsburg Road, Emmitsburg, Maryland. Check-in is from 1pm Thursday and Closing Ceremony ends at 3:30pm Sunday. but it usually takes some time for the ambassadors to walk back to the dorm, collect their luggage, hand in keys and say good bye to their new friends. Back to top

Q: Who may I contact should I have additional questions?

Additional questions or concerns should be directed to the seminar chair at seminarchair@hobymd.org. Back to top