International youth leadership conference features renowned speakers, educational sessions, service-based leadership

Chicago, IL – Tristan Sweeney, a resident of Middletown, New Jersey, recently attended the 2012 Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) World Leadership Congress (WLC). Tristan joined over 425 international students representing 15 different countries for the week-long seminar. Tristan is the son of Asa Sweeney and Melissa Sweeney and represented Middletown High School North. Founded in 1958, HOBY is the nation’s foremost nonprofit youth leadership development organization.

Now in its 44th year, the World Leadership Congress is a dynamic leadership program that brings together students from the U.S. and abroad. WLC attendees had access to a distinguished group of leaders from a variety of backgrounds including business, government, international affairs, science and technology, medicine, media, and education. The weeklong program included interactive and dynamic educational sessions, collaborative workshops, leadership exercises, community service projects and individualized trainings.

“The students attending the WLC have demonstrated outstanding character, leadership and determination,” said Javier LaFianza, president and CEO of Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership. “Every single HOBY WLC volunteer can attest to this group’s ability to create a positive change in the world. There is no doubt that this week has prepared everyone for a lifetime of successful leadership, devoted to improving our communities and the world, in service to others.”


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Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership was established in 1958 by actor, Hugh O’Brian, following an inspirational visit to Africa with Dr. Albert Schweitzer. The goal of HOBY is to provide a catalyst to lifelong leadership development, empowering individuals to achieve their highest potential. As the Ambassadors are exposed to new ideas and engage in challenging topics, HOBY hopes to illustrate how to think constructively and discuss complex issues with individuals from various backgrounds and beliefs. HOBY’s goal is to show the Ambassadors how to think rather than what to think. Since 1958 HOBY has been a part of more than 365,000 students’ lives, many of whom continue to volunteer on HOBY seminar planning committee’s, in their local communities, and schools to keep the HOBY sprit alive. 

The World Leadership Congress was held July 21 – 28 at Loyola University Chicago’s Lakeshore Campus. To learn more about HOBY or the World Leadership Congress, please visit at

About HOBY

For more than 50 years, Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership has helped to cultivate tomorrow’s leaders by inspiring a global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service and innovation. HOBY programs annually provide nearly 10,000 local and international high school students the opportunity to participate in unique leadership training, service learning and motivation-building experiences. HOBY also provides adults the opportunity to make a significant impact on the lives of youth by volunteering, and today more than 4,000 volunteers and over 365,000 alumni proudly make up the HOBY family. Further information may be obtained at

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...