Pratt resident Alesha Bergner attended the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership seminar at KSU.

Alesha Bergner recently attended the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar held at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. Bergner joined more than 210 other young high school leaders from the region. Representing Pratt High School, Alesha is the daughter of Bill and Shannon Bergner.

HOBY State Leadership Seminars provide youth with unique leadership training to equip them with the tools they need to make a positive change in their home, school, and community. Student participants (known as HOBY Ambassadors) take part in hands-on activities and explore their own personal leadership skills while learning how to lead others and make a positive impact in their community.

“My favorite part of the camp was the energy that radiated from everyone. Each of the ambassadors and staff members were absolutely thrilled to be serving, making life long friendships, and learning how to lead within their own communities. The presentations and panels we listened to and participated in were eye-opening and life changing," Bergner said. "We learned about personal leadership, group leadership, and societal leadership, all while emphasizing on how we can take the information and apply it in our own schools and communities. At the closing ceremony, I was honored to be the recipient of the Leadership for Service Award for leading by serving, having a passion for making a difference in the world, and focusing on impacting the community for good. I plan to fulfill my duties as a HOBY alumni and spread positive mental attitude and leadership qualities to everyone I meet.”

At the end of their seminars, HOBY Ambassadors are challenged to give back by serving at least 100 volunteer hours in their communities. During the conference, ambassadors completed three different service projects; within an hour, they packaged 10,368 meals for Rise Against Hunger. To date, HOBY Ambassadors have performed over three million hours of volunteer service in their communities.  

Following a motivational meeting with Dr. Albert Schweitzer during a trip to Africa in 1958, actor Hugh O’Brian was inspired to establish Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership.

“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,” O’Brian said. “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 further information about HOBY programs and sponsorship opportunities, contact Alesha Bergner at alesha.bergner@usd382.com, Josh Linn at josh@hobyks.org, or visit www.hobyks.org.