Recently I had the opportunity to interact with a youth leadership program at the University of Rochester. The program, Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY), is one of many great examples of early leadership opportunities across the United States. HOBY aims to provide youth with a unique leadership training experience through a combination of group programs aimed at the root characteristics which define a modern leader. To me, these characteristics are effective communication, ethical and practical decision making, and personal commitment. Through this program, I saw eager men and women making one of the first steps to become exemplary leaders. They attended sessions to work on communication, they practiced making great decisions, and through this saw the benefits of personal commitment. It makes me proud to see such young leaders with passion strive even further and ever better.
While I didn't attend HOBY, I was a young person who always tried to get involved when possible and reach for the leadership opportunities which presented themselves to me. Three years back, I was my high school's student government president. It was a great opportunity for me to get some hands-on experience communicating with, making decisions with, and leading my peers. Given that, I wish I had gone to a leadership program akin to HOBY. The experience gained possesses much more value if you understand the rationale behind the scenes. As the students who have recently gone back to their respective high schools will learn, without a greater understanding of why you are leading and what ends you are striving for, you cannot be a great leader in college.
I am proud of my school for offering opportunities like this. I believe the school chooses programs like these because leadership is truly important to the University. Reason why I am sure I made the correct choice in studying at one of the best private universities in America.
I am glad to see URoc is involved with HOBY. I attented HOBY my sophmore year and it was an unforgettable experience. The lessons about public service, government, and leadership are incredibly powerful to America’s youth, and this program provides a jumpstart to activism for many of the kids that attend. I hope I can get involved with HOBY over the course of my next four years at Rochester. I’m sure I will have to seek your guidance Nick. And as a HOBY alumn, I’d I thank you for your contribution. You’re OUTSTANDING!