Virginia held its first seminar in the spring of 1977 in Richmond, Virginia with 65 schools represented. Today, we have over 200 schools represented each year. Since our start, VA HOBY has reached over 8,500 sophomores from throughout the Commonwealth, many who continue to give back to the organization today.
In 1985, volunteers with the VA Seminar established Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership – Virginia Leadership Seminar, Inc. (VA HOBY), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization governed by a Board of Directors of prominent business leaders, educators, former VA HOBY Ambassadors, and members of various cooperating organizations. The VA HOBY chapter continues to be a model for other leadership programs, being recognized annually as an Outstanding State Seminar, Outstanding Corporate Board, and Outstanding CLeW by HOBY International.
As an affiliate of HOBY International, the Virginia Leadership Seminar, Inc. provides the following programs around the commonwealth:
- Annual Virginia Leadership Seminar
- The HOBY Alumni Chapter
- Community Leadership Education Workshops (CLeWs)
Most student expenses are paid by donations received from cooperating organizations, businesses and corporations, individual donations and grants. The cost per Ambassador this year is $275 (primary student) and $395 (additional student), which includes the activities at the seminar for the entire weekend including lodging and food.
HOBY is particularly concerned that the seminar not be an expense to the sophomores or their families, so that students from all economic and social backgrounds have an equal opportunity to attend.
Virginia HOBY actively seeks participation from cooperating organizations, businesses and corporations, individual donations and other foundations through Gifts-In-Kind, direct financial support, and volunteer opportunities.