The Outstanding Life of HOBY

Hugh O’Brien, an actor from the early 1950’s, sought a greater life purpose, encouraging youth to become better leaders under the tagline: “Empower. Lead. Excel.” He started the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Foundation, or HOBY, a four day seminar for leadership driven sophomores. HOBY now holds leadership seminars in 70 locations, inspiring 10,000 sophomores a year. Last year, Red Mountain sent five attendees, all sophomores who showed potential to become powerful leaders.

“HOBY is a nationwide leadership and service organization,” junior Maymuna Elmi said. “It provides high school students with the opportunity to grow as leaders in their community.”

Posing for a group picture, juniors Heilee Pentz, Thomas DeMassa, and Maymuna Elmi smile on June 5, 2016. Photo by Hanna Morgan.

This seminar, held in all 50 states, is meant to bring together high school sophomores to connect over their mutual love of service and leadership.

“Outstanding took on a different meaning for me because of HOBY,” junior Maymuna Elmi said. “We would say it every time someone did anything good. I came to define ‘outstanding’ as being exceptional, going above and beyond what others do, and doing it well.”

Long after HOBY is over, students are still affected by the teachings of those four jam-packed days.

“After HOBY, my perspective of a leader has changed. A leader doesn’t have to be the most vocal, or the most intelligent, rather, they have to be able to communicate with others and bring cohesion to a group.”

– Thomas DeMassa, Junior

To find out more about the seminar or to apply to be a representative, visit Ms. Willis in the Career Center or go to

(Featured photo by A.J. Shipitofsky)