HOBY Seminar at DSU defines the spirit of volunteerismHOBY.jpg

The Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) Seminar is comprised of students chosen because of their outstanding leadership potential they’ve demonstrated in school and community activities. Over 70 HOBY programs are conducted annually throughout the United States, and focus on the development of community service projects that continue beyond the seminar dates. Each accredited high school in the state of South Dakota is invited to select at least one sophomore to be the official representative to the HOBY seminar.

The HOBY Seminar will take place Thursday, May 30, to Sunday, June 2, at Dakota State University in Madison, S.D., with more than 140 S.D. high school sophomores in attendance.

This is the third year in a row the event is taking place at Dakota State University, and the 26th year of the HOBY Seminar in S.D.

During the seminar, the participants will undertake community service projects and then dedicate at least 100 volunteer hours after the seminar to make a difference in their school, community, place of worship, or other environment where it is a need.

This year, there are three community service projects the students will be working on this Saturday; the first project is to assist the Red Cross in organizing their disaster relief supplies; another project is writing  letters for terminally ill children for the Love Letters Organization; and the other project is lemonade stands for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which helps raise funds for cancer research.

Madison native and recent graduate from Madison High School, Amy Shan, is an alumna of HOBY from 2011. She enjoyed the seminar and organization so much, she returned in 2012, and again this year, as a volunteer.

“HOBY is a very wonderful organization. It not only teaches students about volunteering, it also gives them opportunities to actually volunteer. It helps create leaders in our communities,” said Shan.

This year, Shan is the coordinator for the Alex’s Lemonade Stand project. According to Wade McIntyre, the South Dakota President of HOBY, “The community service projects being done are part of HOBY’s curriculum which is based on the Social Change Model, and are referred to as Leadership for Service. Shan is a perfect example of how a HOBY seminar attendee in 2011 learns about volunteering and by 2013 she is a project coordinator for the community service event. She set everything up for the lemonade stands this year, from talking to the businesses to setting up the busing schedule.”

Shan not only volunteers her time for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation during the HOBY seminar, she also ran her own Alex’s stand during the Madison Crazy Days and Mart in the Park. “HOBY inspired me to do it. The lemonade stands raise money for childhood cancer research. The money raised helps fund over 250 cancer research projects annually,” said Shan.

The lemonade stands will be set up at various locations around Madison and will be open Saturday, June 1, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

During this year’s HOBY Leadership Seminar over 60 volunteers from S.D., Minn. and Neb., are participating in the event. In fact, 50 of the volunteers are alumni of HOBY. During the seminar, multiple viewpoints on important issues will be discussed, as the program is designed to enhance the development of critical thinking skills by actively involving participants in discussions and informal debate. This involvement will allow students to identify their own particular leadership strengths.

Founded in 1958, HOBY’s mission is to inspire and develop a global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service and innovation. The vision is to motivate and empower individuals to make a positive difference within our global society through understanding and action based on effective and compassionate leadership.

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. For more information about HOBY, go to www.hoby.org.

Last Updated: 5/31/13