Andrew Smith Attends HOBY World Congress
Andrew Smith, the son of Jim and Inga Smith of Mc- Connellsburg High School, represented Pennsylvania in Chicago, Ill., at the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) World Leadership Congress (WLC). This year marks the 53rd year of the WLC and brought together 402 high school student leaders representing almost all 50 states and 10 countries. Andrew was placed in an eclectic group with 11 other students who were from seven other states, Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea.
“HOBY’s primary purpose is to give high school sophomores the opportunity to discover their leadership potential to become the leaders of tomorrow. Our thrust is to teach them how to think, not what to think,” said HOBY founder Hugh O’Brian, who was present at the WLC closing banquet.
Topics during the eight day World Leadership Congress included leadership growth, international economic conditions, poverty, global volunteerism, social entrepreneurism and goal setting. Speakers included Dr. Tererai Trent, Matthew Booth, Steven Harville, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Patty De- Domonic. Additionally, all 402 students spent a day completing hands-on community service projects throughout the city of Chicago. Andrew’s group had the opportunity to volunteer at an assisted living home, where they made the residents breakfast and assisted in other daily tasks. HOBY challenged all the ambassadors to complete 250 service hours in their community which Andrew hopes to accomplish by volunteering at the Fulton County Food Basket, the American Cancer Society/Relay For Life and other local organizations.
The selection process for the HOBY WLC begins each fall, when more than 8,000 public and private high schools select outstanding sophomores to attend a HOBY Leadership Seminar in every state during the spring. After the local seminar, ambassadors may apply to be one of the several chosen to represent their state at the eight-day World Leadership Congress.
Andrew would like to thank his guidance councilor, Mrs. Shelly McMullen, for nominating him to attend HOBY; Aaron Cohen and Ann Neary, his facilitators at the state conference; Angel Ochoa from Oklahoma, his facilitator at WLC; and all the volunteers and directors of Central PA HOBY and the WLC for organizing such a meaningful and memorable experience.