Friday, June 24, 2016

TOP STORY >> Thurman at leadership seminar

Ryane Thurman of Cabot recently attended the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia.

The program, held June 17-19, is known as HOBY and has a curriculum that draws inspiration from the social change model of personal, group and societal leadership.

She is the daughter of Cabot School Superintendent Tony Thurman and his wife, Tara.

Thurman represented Cabot High School, where she’ll be a junior next year, and joined 54 other high school sophomores from the southern Arkansas region who became HOBY Ambassadors at the seminar.

“Every year, I am amazed at how quickly these students form friendships with one another and the quality of the ideas that come from focused group discussions,” seminar chairman Justin Buck said.

The students learn through a personality assessment, hands-on group projects and a global-community perspectives exercise, which are designed to introduce them to the idea of leadership for social change.

They also take part in hands-on activities, meet state leaders, and explore their personal leadership skills while learning how to lead others and make a positive impact in their community.

This year, the southern Arkansas region HOBY Ambassadors dedicated more than 150 hours of community service at the Magale Library at SAU, the Columbia County Library and the Boys and Girls Club in Magnolia.

At the end of their seminars, HOBY Ambassadors are challenged to give back by serving at least 100 volunteer hours in their communities. Students who do so within a year are eligible for the HOBY L4S Challenge Award and the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

Those who log 4,000 hours of service receive the President’s Call to Service Award from HOBY. To date, HOBY Ambassadors have performed more than three million volunteer hours in their communities.

The Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership program began when the Hollywood actor, for whom the program is named, heard theologian and philosopher Albert Schweitzer speak during a trip to Africa in 1958.

Explaining why he was inspired to begin the program, O’Brian said, “One of the things Dr. Schweitzer said to me was that the most important thing in education was to teach young people to think for themselves. From that inspiration, and with the support of others who believe in youth and the American dream, I started HOBY to seek out, recognize and develop outstanding leadership potential among our nation’s youth.”

For 58 years, the program has helped cultivate leaders by inspiring a global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service and innovation.

There are 70 leadership seminars across the country every year for more than 10,000 students.