CHARLES COUNTY, MD — Local students from Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) took part in the Hugh O’Brian Youth Seminar (HOBY) Maryland and Maryland Leadership Seminar Inc. events earlier this summer. Students from multiple school districts in the state attended the seminar at Towson University from June 8 to 11, gaining valuable leadership skills and resources designed to enhance their local communities.

Jordyn Oliver of Henry E. Lackey High School; Claire Bright and Lauren-Grace Compton of La Plata High School; Giavonni Whitener of St. Charles High School; Eden McGuinn of Thomas Stone High School; and Ethan Sugatan, Trinity Watford, and Julia Pender of Westlake High School were among the CCPS students who attended the event.

Lauren-Grace Compton, a La Plata High School student, third from left, is pictured with other students from around Maryland during the HOBY youth leadership seminar. Compton was one of eight Charles County Public Schools students who participated in the HOBY seminar over the summer. Credit: Charles County Public Schools

“This was a transformative experience that challenged each of us to take a close look at the positive impact that we can make in our community and how that carries out into the our world,” said Compton, a La Plata High School student who also runs a nonprofit, Tunes and Tales, and has committed to completing 100 hours of community service as encouraged by HOBY.

The HOBY Maryland and Maryland Leadership Seminar Inc. programs, initiated in 1979, are an extension of the Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership founded in 1958 by the late actor Hugh O’Brian. Inspired by Albert Schweitzer, O’Brian aimed to make a global impact through leadership development. In its initial year, HOBY Maryland saw representation from 46 high schools. That number has grown to include 250 public and private schools throughout Maryland.

During the multi-day seminar, participating students had opportunities to attend panels featuring keynote speakers who discussed various topics such as entrepreneurship, diversity, education, and volunteerism. These interactive sessions allowed students, termed “ambassadors,” to engage in question-and-answer sessions and discussions with peers. Leadership Labs and hands-on activities further enriched the students’ experience. Students collectively completed a community service project benefitting the local area as part of the event’s activities.

The attendance of CCPS students at the seminar is part of a broader effort to foster community leadership skills among youth. Such initiatives are increasingly important for the personal development of students and the betterment of their local communities.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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