Welcome HOBY Parents!

HOBY is a premier youth leadership development program. If your son or daughter has been nominated by his or her school to attend the leadership seminar in your state, congratulations! The fact that your child was invited to HOBY implies that he or she possesses the leadership potential and academic preparedness consistently found in the most promising high school sophomores in the country. During the seminar, your child will have the opportunity to interact with other sophomores from around your state and region and to discuss a number of pressing issues with our panelists and keynote speakers.

As the nation’s foremost youth leadership development organization, with more than 400,000 alumni, HOBY welcomes you. Please use these pages to learn more about HOBY, but feel free to email us with any questions you may have. And if you want to know how HOBY will benefit your child, we encourage you to read alumni and parent testimonials.

Please note: If you have a child attending our seminar, there is additional paperwork called pre-seminar materials to be filled in addition to the initial online registration generally completed by your child’s school. For the 2018 seminar, these will be made available in the spring.

Frequently Asked Questions

I would like my child to participate in HOBY. What is the process?
HOBY Ambassadors are selected and registered by their school counselors. Eligibility requirements vary by school. Please contact your child’s guidance counselor for details on the school’s HOBY process. If your child is homeschooled or his or her school does not participate in HOBY, please contact us to register your child. Please note that in this case, the parent or guardian is responsible for the registration fee of $225.

My child has been registered. What now?
Congratulations! You will receive more detailed information about what to bring and what to expect. The planning committee will send this information to you approximately six weeks before the event. This information may come via U.S. mail or email, so be sure to watch for it. Please be sure to mark the program dates on your calendar and get ready for a memorable experience!

When is the seminar?
The 2018 seminar will be held at the University of Rochester from Friday, June 1, through Sunday, June 3. Drop-off takes place from 7-8 a.m. on Friday and pick-up will follow the closing ceremony at Sunday at 1 p.m. All parents or guardians are invited to attend our closing ceremony at 11:30 a.m. For a full schedule of events from the 2017 seminar, please click here.

Where is the seminar?
In 2018, the seminar will be held at the University of Rochester.

Does my child have to attend the entire event?
Yes, students must be present for the entire event, including overnight. If circumstances arise that prevent your child from attending the entire program he or she is registered for, please contact the high school counselor or principal who registered your child and inform him or her of your situation, and contact us so that we may work with you to figure out the best situation for your child.

What are the accommodations like?
We will be staying in dorm rooms in facilities reserved exclusively for HOBY. All accommodations are same-sex by room and building. Unfortunately, we cannot oblige roommate requests as a large focus of the seminar is to ensure that your child is meeting as many other inspirational students as possible.

A few weeks prior to the event, we will provide you with detailed instructions on what you need to bring that weekend. You will have an opportunity to inform us of any special dietary considerations prior to the event.

Will there be adequate adult supervision?
Absolutely! HOBY programs have a minimum of one adult (21 years or older) for every 12 students at all times. Students are never left unattended or allowed to walk across campus or the seminar site without supervision.

Can I observe the seminar or check on my child during the weekend?
We generally discourage having parents present during HOBY programs. This encourages the students to find their own voices and step out of their comfort zones. You may have your child call you to check in via their personal cell phone or a public phone at night. However, phones must be left in the dorm rooms during the daytime. For emergencies, you will receive a contact number (prior to the event) to reach HOBY personnel. Be sure to check our Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the weekend for fun and informative updates.

Will my child be safe?
HOBY has strict rules against hazardous activities and use of drugs, tobacco, etc. Students are closely supervised at all times. Please be sure to sign a medical release (sent prior to the seminar) so any required treatment at a local facility is not delayed in case of emergency.

Can my child carpool with other students to the seminar?
Due to liability issues, HOBY cannot organize carpools or provide transportation to or from the seminar. However, you are free to contact other area schools to arrange for shared transportation with their participants.

What should my child bring to HOBY?
Each student is provided with a packing list included in their program materials with items, such as alarm clock, camera, comfortable shoes, shorts and shirts (please meet school acceptability standards and avoid revealing clothing), and any required medication, including over-the-counter medicine. You will also need to bring bedding, towels and a business casual outfit for the Closing Ceremony.

Will my child need spending money?
We do provide a HOBY Store for souvenirs, such as T-shirts and other items. Your child will also have the opportunity to purchase a digital yearbook with photos of their experience. $20-30 is usually ample to cover these types of items.

What if my child needs to take medication while at HOBY?
You will be asked to provide information about your child’s medication in the program materials sent to you six weeks prior to the program. You will also need to provide a doctor’s note.

What should I expect when I pick up my child at the end of the program?
HOBY is often a life-changing experience. Students explore various topics related to leadership and service over the course of three days. They also take on leadership roles throughout the seminar by moderating panels, introducing speakers and holding discussions on various topics. They meet students from across the region as well as interact with current local business and community leaders. They will most likely be exhausted and exhilarated at the same time and may not have much of a voice left! You may drop off a shy, quiet child, but you will probably pick up an outgoing, ambitious young adult. We encourage your child to share his or her experience at HOBY, as well as pursue what he or she hopes to accomplish as a result of his or her HOBY experience.