Rising Juniors Attend HOBY Leadership Conference

Every year, high school sophomores across the United States have the opportunity to participate in the Hugh O'Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership Program. This year, two Trinity Hall students, Sarah D. ‘24 and Sophia R. ‘24 traveled to Kean University to attend New Jersey’s HOBY conference. At the three-day conference, Sarah and Sophia heard from keynote speakers, participated in leadership workshops, completed team activities, and networked with their peers and professionals. 
 
The following are reflections from Sarah and Sophia about their experiences at the HOBY Leadership Conference: 
 

Sarah D. ‘24

 
Attending this year's HOBY conference allowed me to actualize, expand, and further develop the core values of leadership, respect, perseverance, and faith practiced and utilized at Trinity Hall. Participating in HOBY's workshops, team collaborations, and group-think sessions, combined with the opportunity to reflect and listen to guest speakers and other student leaders, reinforced my belief in the inherent worth of all people and my commitment to living a life defined by service and outreach.

Leadership requires many different skill sets, and effective leaders use tools and traits such as integrity, empathy, communication, and courage to accomplish their tasks and goals. Thanks to its dedicated volunteers, HOBY used real-world scenarios, puzzles, and exercises to get us to think about our skills and talents and apply them to leadership roles. I enjoyed the lessons and assignments affiliated with the power of influence. Although some of us sometimes confuse influence with manipulation, strong leaders learn how to influence through inspiration, motivation, and creativity through transparency and trust. 

Finally, and most importantly, this year's HOBY conference renewed my connection and affection for the power of gratitude. Gratitude is often practiced and spoken about in the halls and classrooms at Trinity, and the HOBY conference described how some of the best leaders know how to express sincere gratitude. Let us never forget the magnitude of showing a genuine smile and hearing the appreciation behind a heartfelt  "Thank You." I thank Trinity Hall, the volunteers, staff, and invited speakers at HOBY. I intend to use what I learned in my every day and student life and apply the principles of being a better leader and person to my position on the SCOPE Council.
 
"Be kind and merciful. Let no one ever come to you without coming away better and happier." -Mother Teresa
 

Sophia R. ‘24

 
HOBY claims its three-day program is life-changing by influencing teenagers from around the globe to take action in their communities and make a difference in the world. They were not lying. From the moment I experienced the welcoming chants during my first minute on campus, to seeing three incredible leaders and activists speak, to the activities performed with my group that created lifelong friendships and inspired me to reach for my leadership goals, I would not have changed one thing about the weekend. 

One of my favorite activities with my group was figuring out what type of leader each one of us is and how we work well individually and with each other. Using this information, we created a non-profit organization to fix a problem in our community. After working diligently together on visual representations as well as a pitch of our idea, we presented our project to other groups and listened to their organizational ideas too. The most inspiring part of this activity was hearing how many students said that they were going to pursue the non-profit organizations their groups had created when the weekend was over. 

At HOBY, through my favorite chant, I learned that no matter how small a step is as a leader, every little piece of progress is outstanding. I have already seen the influence HOBY has had on me as a leader. In merely a month of finishing HOBY, I have finished 90 of the 100 hours of community service the youth leadership program recommends to each student. I will continue to use and grow the leadership skills I learned at this seminar, especially at Trinity Hall this upcoming year.
 
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