Hereford students get inspired at the HOBY leadership conference


Provided By Emily Behan

Three Hereford students join 240 other Maryland students at the HOBY leadership conference at Mt. Saint Mary’s University. They attended the conference in order to develop their leadership potential and bring those skills back to their school.

On May 22, Hereford students Emily Behan (10), Blake Francis (10), and Adriana Culotta (11) attended the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) conference at Mt. Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD, along with 240 other student ambassadors from public and private schools across Maryland.

While attending the conference, Blake and Emily got the chance to listen to motivational speakers, participate in various leadership workshops, form new friendships, and even experience a poverty simulation.

This is the third year that Hereford has sent students to represent the school at HOBY.  Emily and Blake were chosen from Hereford to go to the conference this year after going through an interview process, beating out over 30 other sophomores.

“We weren’t strictly looking for students with prior leadership experiences, since HOBY is all about developing leaders,” stated Guidance Counselor Mary Schwartz who was part of the selection committee with Adriana. “We were more focused on the enthusiasm and desire students expressed to become leaders, to learn the skills, in other words.”

“[The presenters] talked about service and leadership and I thought that those were interesting things that I wanted to bring back to our school,” said Emily.

Adriana went through this same interview process last year and attended HOBY this year for the second time as an alumna.

“I just knew that I wanted to go back [to HOBY] because I wanted to see the inspiration that the new ambassadors would get and I wanted to be there and I wanted to experience that,” said Adriana.  “I love the friends I made there and I wanted to have that connection again.”

HOBY teaches students skills such as leadership, communication, and teamwork  that they can use to implement into their schools and for the rest of their lives.

“If you want to be a leader but you don’t really know how, [HOBY] just helps you learn what kind of leader you are and teaches you how to help other people become leaders,” said Adriana.

Using his experiences from HOBY, Blake plans to start the American Red Cross Club at Hereford High School that will organize blood drives and help donate money to natural disasters that occur around the world.

“By making me want to help others, HOBY has helped me create this club by providing me with leadership potential and skills,” said Blake.