1950s Household Name Hugh O'Brian Left an All-American Legacy with HOBY

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Household name and star of the first adult western television series that ran on ABC from 1955 to 1961, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, Hugh O'Brian was inspired by the great humanitarian Albert Schweitzer to set up his own program called HOBY for Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership that inspires and educates High School students to be leaders, throughout the United States and around the world.

Leaders Built Here - The Mission and Values of HOBY

OUR MISSION

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

For more than five decades, 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 history of successfully motivating young people to develop into outstanding leaders.

CORE LEADERSHIP SKILLS

Much of the work at HOBY involves young people exploring and identifying their unique leadership skills. Every student is different, and there is no attempt to impart a predefined set of attributes onto HOBY participants. We stress self-knowledge, uniqueness, and authenticity, not conformity. Students learn to mobilize their own unique traits and are exposed to particular leadership principles that they can explore and incorporate in a fashion that is true to their own personality.

Some of these include:

  • Consciousness of self: values, emotions, and beliefs that motivate you to take action
  • Behaving with consistency, genuineness, and honesty toward others
  • Personal commitment as energy that drives the collective effort
  • Collaboration: empowering others and self through trust
  • Common purpose—working with shared aims and values
  • Collective analysis of issues at hand and tasks to be undertaken
  • Maintaining civility in light of differences in viewpoint
  • Conflict resolution: creating group consensus
  • Conscientious citizenship: thinking critically about societal issues
  • Service as a way to become an effective, active citizen in the community

The Famous Founder and Why He Started HOBY

HOBY was founded by Hugh O'Brian in 1958 as a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire a global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service, and innovation. From 1958 to 1967, leadership seminars only took place in Los Angeles for High School sophomores from California. The success of the program over the first 10 years resulted in the expansion of the scope of the HOBY program. In 1968, seminars included international as well as national participants, and the leadership seminars moved to major cities across the United States on an annual basis.

In 1972, in keeping with the changing times of the growing women's movement, young women were invited to attend HOBY seminars. In 1977 Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island are the first to hold State Leadership seminars. In 1986 the HOBY Alumni Association initiated Community Leadership Workshops, one-day local leadership training workshops. By 1988 10,676 high school sophomores, representing 51 percent of U.S. high schools, participated in State Leadership Seminars; HOBY volunteers numbered 2,500.

In 1990, the International Leadership Seminar was renamed the World Leadership Congress, and 28 countries sent students representatives for an eight-day global leadership summit. By 1998, HOBY celebrated its 40th Anniversary and launched a new initiative, Leadership for Service, challenging all HOBY ambassadors to commit to 100 hours of community service. Twenty pilot sites were given the community service challenge resulting in 345 ambassadors accomplishing more than 24,000 volunteer hours in 850 community service projects. Hugh's belief in the potential of every human being and his commitment to helping the youth of the world become major contributors to society is his legacy. Today more than 500,000 HOBY alumni around the world are making a difference in the lives of others, thanks to the vision and passion of Hugh O'Brian.

How Hugh Was Inspired by Dr. Albert Schweitzer

(this is taken from the IMDb mini bio for Hugh)

O'Brian's most enduring legacy is off-screen. More than 375,000 high school sophomores selected by their schools have gone through his "Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership" organization, which was founded "to inspire and develop our global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service and innovation." The non-profit organization grew out of an invitation to O'Brian from Dr. Albert Schweitzer to visit the medical missionary, a 1952 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, at his famed Africa hospital. O'Brian, at age 33, spent nine days working as a volunteer at the hospital on the banks of the Ogooue River in Gabon during the summer of 1958. For O'Brian, it was a life-changing experience. After dinner each evening, O'Brian and Schweitzer would spend hours talking. As O'Brian was getting ready to depart down river, he later recalled, Schweitzer took his hand and asked, "Hugh, what are you going to do with this?" On his flight back to the United States, O'Brian reflected on Schweitzer's comment that "the most important part of education is teaching young people to think for themselves".

Dr. Albert Schweitzer in Africa

Moria tells us what it's like to volunteer for HOBY

This is a work in progress, more to come!

 
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