Every year, members of our faculty and staff have the opportunity to nominate two to three sophomores to attend the HOBY New Jersey Youth Leadership Seminar.
During the three-day HOBY seminar, sophomores from all over New Jersey explore, discover, and nurture their personal leadership strengths, and learn how to apply them to serve their community. It is designed to develop students’ existing talents and challenge them to expand their comfort zone. According to the HOBY website, “The conference focuses on inspiring and developing our global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service, and innovation and looks to motivate and empower individuals to make a positive difference within our global society through understanding and action based on effective and compassionate leadership.”
Alexandra reflected on her favorite part about the HOBY conference—being able to meet “so many passionate and likeminded sophomores in regard to service and leadership from across the state of New Jersey.” She continued, “I think it is good that IHA/HOBY offers experiences like this to its students because HOBY encompasses IHA’s mission of leadership and service and it is a tremendous opportunity to be able to see how this vocation is being carried out both in and outside of the IHA community.”
Bianca said the seminar was an opportunity that gave her one of the best weekends of her life. “I enjoyed everything from the people around me to the speakers and the many activities to which we were exposed,” Bianca said. “I made so many new friendships, and they all feel like family. Every person I encountered was so passionate and motivated, and I loved being in an environment with people just like me. I bonded with some of them more than some people I have known my whole life.”
Attending HOBY was a “phenomenal experience” according to Freya. Her favorite part was also the people she met—young leaders who shared her same attitude of aiming to make a positive impact on the world. “Although the seminar was only three days long, I met so many new friends who I know I'll continue to keep in touch with,” Freya said. “Alongside them, not only did I develop a greater sense of confidence, but I also learned how to become a better leader and empower others to do the same.”
Ms. Maureen McNulty, sophomore class moderator who facilitates IHA’s representatives at the HOBY conference each summer, said it was particularly difficult for the panel to choose attendees this year, as they had a plethora of impressive applicants. “Bianca, Alexandra, and Freya were outstanding representatives this year,” she said, “and I am so proud of them and their accomplishments!”