The HOBY World Leadership Conference is being held at UCLA (the University of California at Los Angeles) this week. I know, because the 400 high school student “ambassadors” (aged 15-17), plus about 100 volunteers all wearing the same HOBY t-shirts arrived en masse at the museum today.
In 1958 Dr. Albert Schweitzer invited Hugh O’Brian, motion picture and television star, to visit him at his hospital in French Equatorial Africa. The actor spent nine days at the clinic assisting Dr Schweitzer and his team of volunteer doctors and nurses, who ran their hospital without electricity or running water.
The two discussed global peace and world politics every night. Dr Schweitzer, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952, was concerned about global peace prospects, thought the United States was the only country in the world able to bring about peace, and felt it was very important to teach young people to think for themselves.
Before saying goodbye, Dr. Schweitzer took O’Brian’s hand and asked, “Hugh, what are you going to do with this?”
Two weeks after his trip to Africa he formed the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) program.
HOBY’s vision is to motivate and empower individuals to make a positive difference within our global society through understanding and action based on effective and compassionate leadership.
High School students who are selected by their schools, learn how to think, not what to think.
Mary Katherine from Pennsylvania, and Paolo from Boston, told me that the students at UCLA came from 14 countries: every one of the States in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Germany, England, S. Korea, Taiwan, China, Nepal, Hong Kong, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Iraq.
After 52 years there are over 355,000 HOBY alumni.
I was interested to read that the 85-year-old founder of HOBY lives in Los Angeles.