The deadline for sophomores to be considered for the Massachusetts Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Seminar (HOBY) nears. By December 8th, interested sophomores must contact College Guidance to be considered for a school recommendation to the program. HOBY is a weekend opportunity (June 10-12, 2017) where teens learn the various tactics and ways to be a great leader in the world around us.
Last year’s Massachusetts HOBY took place at Bentley University in Waltham and sent three Montrosians. Alex Rider ‘18, Gabby Landry ‘18, and I, Olivia Hastie ‘18 spent three days in June at Bentley learning new leadership ideals to bring to Montrose.
Each year MA HOBY has a theme, and this year it was sports. I was in the Rugby group lead by a St. Anselm alum who plays rugby competitively. Group leaders were called facilitators, and, each group had a Junior Staff member as well. Typically, the junior staff members are HOBY alum from the year before.
The first day of HOBY kicked off with public speaker, Eric Thompson, who spoke on the importance of civility in schools and how bullying can affect the minds and spirit of young people. Besides speakers, HOBY day one was full of ice breakers, games, and ways to get to know your small group, as well as exercises in discovering each attendees’ leadership style.
HOBY encouraged every member at the seminar to set SMART goals It was truly eye-opening to listen to the goals of many attendees. Some were simple: “This year I won’t get below a C+ in math class.” Some were very ambitious: “I want to start a nonprofit organization that will put an end to world hunger.”
We learned how to be practical and how to dream in a realistic setting. Other HOBY speakers included Laura Stone, who gave a presentation on team leadership. Her presentation segued into a game entitled HOBYOPOLY. Similar to the board game Monopoly, HOBYOPOLY puts teams into the shoes of a business and forces them to try and monopolize multiple companies. Although there was no clear winner, each team had to work together to create the best possible outcome.
Day two kicked off with a young speaker by the name of James Orrigo, a musician with a compelling background. A lacrosse star in high school who lost everything to a concussion, he is now a musician who travels from hospital to hospital helping sick children write songs. I encourage all to listen to his song Boat Shoes on Spotify. James is incredibly talented, and leader at heart. HOBY attendees also witnessed a presentation from St. Jude’s Hospital, and each made a card and helped construct a link chain for all of the children at St. Jude’s.
Aside from learning, HOBY was a great way to meet new friends from all over the state. I am still in touch with all of the kids in my group. HOBY was truly an incredible and eye-opening experience. Sophomores! Don’t miss your opportunity to experience this outstanding weekend.