Getting a CLeW about HOBY

As a National Staff Member of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, I have been studying up on all things Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY), our National Philanthropy. I’ve read the blogs, explored the website and heard a lot from our Members that are also HOBY Alumni. However, I do not think I fully understood the magic of the organization until I attended the HOBY CLeW (Community Leadership Workshop) that was held in Hershey, PA this past March. It was organized and facilitated by our Alumni Relations Coordinator, Sarah Smith (Epsilon Alpha Chapter ‘13).


The group that built the tallest self-standing tower won. The twist? They couldn’t verbally communicate!

A HOBY CLeW is generally the first experience that a student (or Ambassador) has with HOBY. It’s their introduction, as freshmen in highschool, to the organization and is meant to encourage them to continue on to other, more involved HOBY events which made it the perfect first HOBY experience for me.

At the CLeW, Ambassadors learned about the FISH philosophy, heard from motivational speakers about leadership and how to get involved, found out their True Colors personality/leadership type (I’m a Gold!) and participated in a team activity that involved building towers out of uncooked spaghetti and marshmallows. My favorite part was learning the HOBY cheers.


Curtis Voelker (Admissions Counselor, Central Penn College) encouraged Ambassadors, who start as little raindrops, to start the storm of success.

Cheers are a big part of HOBY. Sounds a little weird, right? That’s what I thought until I saw just how these silly cheers got Ambassadors to open up and participate. As they chanted about burritos, sizzling and how they’re feeling, you could just see them relax, get energized and peel off the shell that they walked in the room with. You really just have to experience it! 

As the CleW came to a close and the Ambassadors began to funnel out to the parking lot where their parents awaited, you could see that friendships had formed and a light was sparked. There was an energy and an inspiration that was not present at the beginning of the day. I left excited for these students, the leaders that they would grow to be and all that they would accomplish in HOBY, their communities and *fingers crossed* our Fraternity in 4-5 years.

I encourage you to reach out to your local HOBY representative and find out how you personally and/or your Chapter can get involved. If you have a relative, neighbor or kids in high school, encourage them to check out HOBY happenings and talk to their guidance counselor/school administrators about attending a HOBY event!

So what do I think about HOBY?
Out-Out- Outstanding!
(See what I mean about the cheers?)

Casey Ellison
Editorial Production Assistant
Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity

April Lunch & LearnJoin us for the 3rd and final part of the Lunch & Learn Webinar series with HOBY on Wednesday, April 6 at Noon! We’ve talked about the Social Change Model of Leadership as well as the Service Learning Model and now it’s time to talk about how they are used together. RSVP to earn 8 Leadership in Action points! (Note: You do not have to have seen the first two webinars to attend this, however, they can be viewed on the RSVP page.)



One comment

  1. […] you and your Chapter are most needed. Some of our National Staff volunteered at a HOBY CLeW… check it out! Your Chapter could also plan a day of service and invite HOBY volunteers/Alumni to […]

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