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HOBY International was founded in 1958 by veteran actor and humanitarian Hugh O’Brian, widely remembered as the actor who played TV’s Wyatt Earp. As originally presented to O’Brian by the great Albert Schweitzer, our purpose is to teach students “how to think, not what to think.” HOBY is thus designed to encourage the student ‘Ambassadors’ to see leadership as a “life-goal” worth pursuing, and prepares rising sophomores to become even more positive and effective catalysts for change, for making a difference in the school, workplace, community, and even at home.

In 2010, after twenty-nine years at THE CITADEL in Charleston, SC, we moved our three-day seminar to the upstate SC, the historic Erskine College located in Due West, SC. This was part of our Corporate Board’s strategic plan to increase availability of the program to more SC high schools. By the time we celebrate 40 years of service in 2021, we anticipate to more than double the number of current students served. We are working hard to expand our fundraising efforts to support the increased demand for HOBY’s leadership programs. We are honored that our mission of community service and leadership development for local youth is already being sponsored by many service organizations (Kiwanis, Optimists, Lions, Greater Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC), etc.), many corporations (Walmart, Sams Clubs, Palmetto Bank, Publix, Enterprise Bank of SC, CreekPointe Computers, Inc., SEU Promotions, etc.), as well as over 20 Colleges & Universities (Clemson, USC, The Citadel, Erskine, Furman, Converse, Frances Marion, Davidson, etc.) and affiliated organizations (NC College Foundation, College Options Foundation, etc.)! We continue to build on these relationships going forward.

SC HOBY invites every high school in the state to send up to five sophomore students to attend this 3-day, 2-night leadership program. The true operating cost (lodging, food, seminar materials, and operating expenses) to attend SC HOBY is only $350! SC HOBY is run by 100% volunteers, who work very diligently to raise the necessary funds to run the annual Leadership Development Seminars. The following outlines a typical SC HOBY Weekend Schedule (including volunteer training):


  • Tuesday – Wednesday: Leadership team moves in on campus and gets organized.
  • Wednesday-Thursday: Other volunteers move in on campus and get organized.
  • Thursday (Approx. 9:30 am-2:00pm): Leadership registration, training, and seminar set-up. Mandatory meeting for all volunteers/
  • Friday (8:30 am-10:30 am): Leaders have transformed campus at host site.
    • Ambassadors/Parents arrive, register, move in and attend pre-seminar activities.
    • Pre-seminar activities include a College & Career Fair, which enables parents and Ambassadors to meet a great group of college admission’s staff, who will share about the “do’s and dont’s” of the college admission process.
    • Along with the universities, there is a diverse group of individuals from prominent professional careers, who have volunteered their time to showcase their career/industry to these families.
  • Friday, 10:30 am: Parents are dismissed and Ambassadors meet their facilitators for the first time. We prepare for the OPENING SESSION!
  • Friday, 10:30 am-Sunday 10:30 am. This time period is the meat of our program. We have a ton of fun, learning, excitement, etc. all weekend! We focus all discussions and dynamics around our 4-Phases of Leadership Development curriculum, which are presented from a lecture perspective using multi-media techniques, as well as interactive, break-out sessions, brainstorming, roll-playing, etc. to insure the Ambassadors leave with a clear understanding of what a leader is, how a leader interacts in a group, and a leader’s roll in society, along with understanding and participating in a Leadership Service Project, to understand the importance of community service and giving back to the local community!Our Ambassadors are assigned to teams for the weekend. During the weekend, they have team breakout sessions, an explosive, multi-media social on Friday night (with a masquerade theme), watch teaching videos, do a ton of famous HOBY Cheers, prepare for a talent show (the best one you will ever see!), complete individual personality profiling, learn about SMART Goals, learn about being a leading in Vietnam, from a Business owner, work with several panel discussions, process a “Future’s Kit,” and prepare for an interactive presentation to parents, who return on Sunday afternoon!
  • Sunday – 10:30 am – 1:30 pm. Parents return for the PARENT ORIENTATION and our AWARD’S BANQUET. The Parent Orientation starts at 10:30 am on Sunday, in the cafeteria where they dropped off their students on Friday. All the Ambassadors, SC HOBY Volunteers join them by 11:00 am, where we commence to our SC HOBY Awards Banquet. This includes a weekend review, some testimonials, sharing of some of the talents, hearing from some of our speakers and volunteers, and sharing some awards. By 1:30 PM on Sunday, all the Ambassadors are checking out and on their way home. We then put the campus back in order! Attending the Award’s Banquet is an awesome closure, where everything comes together. It is great for parents to attend the SC HOBY Award’s Banquet.


  1. OPTION 1 – SEMINAR ONLY VOLUNTEER – Volunteer to work all weekend at the annual seminar. You would join us at Thursday morning, and stay on campus with us all weekend, as a full-time volunteer. You will not regret it…you will have a ton of fun and have YOUR life enriched more than the Ambassadors! HOBY INTERNATIONAL is a very well-known organization and networking with or organization is a huge attribute of anyone’s resume!
  2. OPTION 2 – SEMINAR DAY-ONLY VOLUNTEER – Volunteer to work during the day only at the annual seminar. You would volunteer during the day of FRIDAY, SATURDAY, and/or SUNDAY, assisting where needed during the day only, with plans to leave after dinner daily.
  3. OPTION 3 – SEMINAR PLANNING VOLUNTEER – Volunteer with the Seminar Planning Staff and help us throughout the year, participating on a committee, conference calls, and “work-weekends” as they are scheduled. Many volunteers who work with seminar planning can not travel and do not help with executing the seminar. Volunteers work from their own homes and towns, working HOBY in between other job and family responsibilities.
  4. OPTION 3 – SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITY VOLUNTEER – Volunteer for a specific responsibility on our Organizational Chart. This would have specific responsibilities, and depending on the job, may be seasonal, year-round, or full-fill responsibilities in more of an “ad-hoc” basis, “as needed.” For example, a CPA for bookkeeping, a photographer, recruiter committee coordinator, fundraising committee coordinator, etc.
  5. OPTION 4 – MANAGERIAL RESPONSIBILITIES – Volunteer in a Director level for Seminar planning/execution and/or volunteer as a Corporate Board Member (a group of vested individuals who provide strategic planning and financial guidance, to insure SC HOBY Organization functions at a high level of effectiveness and quality). Interested individuals should submit their resumes, along with a cover letter explaining areas of interest, etc.