It’s the Message, Not the Story

Visit almost any business’ website and you will find a link to their history and mission statement. The nation’s largest employer, Walmart, has one. J.P. Morgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States has one. Even HOBY has one.  These histories and mission statements aren’t just trivial phrases used from time to time. Instead, they are at the foundation of the business. They have been discussed, meticulously analyzed and no major decision is made unless it aligns with the history and mission of the company.

Today, at HOBY, we have been working on our own personal histories (or as we call them, stories) and mission statements (or as we call them, messages).

Our first speaker of the day was Stanley Leone, employee of the world-famous inspirational public speaking organization the Flippen Group. Growing up in Houston, Stanley has been through a lot of trauma in his life. From gang violence to drug abuse to multiple felony charges, Stanley does not sound like the ideal role model to speak to your students about leadership. However, that’s only Stanley’s story, not his message.

As Flip Flippen told Stanley when he was in high school, “Son, everybody has a good story. Not everybody has a good message.”  That sentence inspired Stanley to turn his life around. His story was written for him. His circumstances as a child certainly shaped him, and not in the best way. But he found ways to leave his story behind and focus on creating his empowering and inspirational message moving forward. . Stanley went on to receive a full academic and athletic scholarship to St. Xavier University and now tours the country and world sharing his message of perseverance.

We then delved into a personality assessment that helped each student identify their strengths and weaknesses. Those weaknesses are a part of our story, but with the right focus and hard work, they can strengthen our message.

Every student will leave the seminar this weekend with a story and a message that they wrote for themselves. A history of themselves and how they got to this point, as well as an active plan of who they will choose to be in the future. When you see your ambassadors on Sunday, encourage them to continue to fine tune their message and stick to it, no matter what happens.


Personality Assessment

Ambassadors and Staff,

Be sure to check your e-mail.  We are doing a personality assessment this year, and we want everyone to participate.  You will have a link on your email to complete the assessment.  The assessment needs to be done before you arrive at the seminar.  If you do not get the email, please contact me, Sarah, or Alison.  We will get it over to you.

We can’t wait to see everyone in just a few short days!!!!  We are getting really excited about this year’s seminar.  We have some good things in store for all of you.

HOBY Hugs,

Happy 90th Birthday, Hugh O’Brian!

If you have liked our Facebook page, you may have seen that today is Hugh O’Brian’s 90th birthday.  Almost 60 years ago, Hugh O’Brian founded the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar.  We all should celebrate! The man who created what is bringing us all together this summer is celebrating his 90th birthday. I know it is a little cliche, but HOBY is really one of those “life changing” things in my life. I have been fortunate to meet so many people and learn so many things from them over the years.. all because Hugh O’Brian had an idea to make a change in the world.  We get an opportunity this summer to meet even more ambassadors and learn from each of them.  So, take this time and be thankful for the man who gave us the opportunity to experience HOBY and everything that encompasses.  Whether you are an alum, a parent, a volunteer, a counselor, or a future ambassador, we have all been touched by what Hugh O’Brian has done for us. Happy birthday, Hugh O’Brian! Thank you for everything!

Happy Birthday Hugh

Happy Birthday Hugh 2

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Junior Staff Applications!

Hey HOBY alumni!

We’re getting close again! I sent out an e-mail containing information about Junior Staff applications earlier this evening. In case you didn’t get it, you can e-mail us at or follow the links below.

The seminar this year is set for June 12-14. As staff, we ask that you arrive the night before (Thursday, June 11) for training and preparation, so please plan accordingly. The seminar will be held on the UT campus, as usual.

Applications will be processed online via FormStack this year. Below is the link to complete the Junior Staff Application online. It’s a fairly simple application, but please make note that the application needs to be completed in its entirety once you start it. There’s not an option to save the partially completed application and return to finish it later. Also, please make sure that you read the link containing Junior Staff Job Descriptions and Responsibilities in its entirety before you submit your application.

Link to application:…/2015_txca_junior_staff_applica…

The deadline for applications this year is Wednesday, April 15. Early applications are always much appreciated. If you have any questions, feel free to send me an e-mail at this address. (

Once you’ve submitted the TXCA Junior Staff Application, please go to the HOBY International website here, to complete the HOBY International Annual Volunteer Application as well.

And of course, feel free to e-mail me with any questions.