HOBY’s Mission

To inspire and develop our global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service and innovation.

For over five decades, Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) has inspired young people to make a difference and become catalysts for positive change in their home, school, workplace, and community. As America’s foremost youth leadership organization, HOBY has a long and impressive history of successfully motivating youth and volunteers to outstanding leadership. HOBY aims to inspire and develop our global community of youth & volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service, and innovation.


To motivate and empower individuals to make a positive difference within our global society, through understanding and action, based on effective and compassionate leadership.

Core Values

  • Volunteerism – Volunteerism is the heart and soul of our organization. We appreciate the myriad contributions of our volunteers, and recognize the power of thank you and of giving back. We seek to promote and encourage service among our stakeholders. We recognize and value the positive accomplishments that volunteers can achieve by working together. We believe that our programs positively impact volunteers as much as the youth and communities we serve.
  • Integrity – Integrity forms the foundation of our organization. We demand the highest level of ethics. We grow our organization based on interactions that promote mutual trust and respect with our stakeholders and partners. We strive to ensure the highest level of organizational effectiveness by continually reviewing our programs and processes to improve quality and efficiency.
  • Excellence – We strive to continually raise our programs and business to new levels of excellence. We encourage entrepreneurship and innovation in business, education, and social responsibility. We develop creative solutions to address challenges and to utilize opportunities. We believe that leadership skills can and should be continually improved and refined.
  • Diversity – We value and embrace diversity. We seek out views that reflect all walks of life, and reflect those views in our programs. We are sensitive to the special needs and diverse backgrounds of individuals. We give all individuals an equal opportunity to be heard and to benefit from our programs.
  • Community Partnership – We value community partnerships. We recognize the importance of working with community organizations to strengthen our supportive network. We value the input we receive from our community partners, and strive to work together cooperatively and constructively for the betterment of all.

Click here to read more about HOBY’s history.

What is HOBY?

This year, thousands of high school students will attend HOBY programs. We will present multiple viewpoints on important issues and encourage you to think critically about leadership, in addition to identifying your own particular leadership strengths. The high school sophomore participants, referred to as “HOBY Ambassadors,” will enjoy experiential learning in the forms of:

  • Inspiration from keynote speakers.
  • Interaction with community leaders from education, government, business, media and the non-profit sector.
  • Participation in community service projects that impact the lives of those in need.
  • Leadership games and activities helping to develop skills in organization, communication, problem solving and goal setting.
  • Lasting bonds with other HOBY participants based on shared values, goals and experiences.
  • And FUN!!!

What you get out of the program will correlate directly with your level of participation in the activities—so come prepared to interact!

HOBY Vermont History 

HOBY Vermont’s mission is to help lay a foundation for Vermont’s future leaders through the facilitation of seminars, community events, and activities that teach participants how to think, not what to think.

Lucia Houlihan brought HOBY to Vermont in 1983.  Since then, the seminar has had several sites throughout the state including Bolton Valley Resort, The Cortina Inn in Mendon, Vermont Technical College in Randolph and its current home at Saint Michael’s College in Colchester.  More than 100 ambassadors take part in the seminar, held Memorial Day Weekend, each year.  More than thirty years after Lucia introduced HOBY to Vermont sophomore leaders, the core values of the program have not changed one bit: we aim to motivate the future leaders of Vermont.

Vermont HOBY Quick Facts

  • Corporation Name: Vermont Hugh O’Brian Youth Seminars, Inc.
  • HOBY Vermont has had over 550 ambassadors participate in the past 5 years
  • HOBY Vermont has been hosting an annual leadership seminar since 1983
  • Ambassadors from over 50 high schools from across the state participate every year
  • HOBY Vermont is 100% volunteer
  • HOBY Vermont is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
  • Each seminar  costs over $20,000,  50% of that is raised by HOBY Vermont junior staff members

Our Corporate Board

President – Genevieve Lemire (glemire10@gmail.com)

Vice President – Mallory Wood (malloryl.wood@gmail.com)

Secretary and Director of Programs – Catherine Welch

Treasurer- Anthony Ducharme

Leadership Seminar Chairperson – Sam Epstein (sepstein@hobyvt.org)

Directors of Fundraising and Development – Kate Meyer and Brian Martin (development@hobyvt.org)

Alumni Adviser – Kelsey Jensen (alumni@hobyvt.org)

Director of Public Relations – Deniz Sehovic (deniz@hobyvt.org)

Member at Large – Daniel Luttrell

Member at Large – Liz Parker

Member at Large – Ben Parker

Member at Large – Kayla Thibault

Member at Large – Brady Rainville


Cooperating Organizations

HOBY could not be made possible without the support of many cooperating organizations from across the country.  Please click here for a complete list and to learn more.