HOBY Leadership Conference: Interview with a Jeanite of Academic Excellence

From June 7-9, 2019, Gabrielle Fu ('21) participated in the New York Metro HOBY leadership conference, a prestigious leadership and service workshop at Adelphi University. We interviewed Gabrielle to learn about her experience as SJB's representative at this event.
What is the HOBY Leadership Conference?
The HOBY Leadership Conference is a weekend seminar for youth leaders from all high schools in the NY Metro area. These students have shown qualities befitting a leader, such as intelligence and confidence.
How did you get invited to the HOBY?
Ms. Calo brought up the event as a contest earlier in the school year. The requirement to apply was to write an essay on a global conflict and possible solutions. I was fortunate enough to have written the winning essay.
What did you do there; what was it like?
I participated in a number of entertaining games and activities, as well as a joint service project: creating care packages, cards, and blankets for various charities. Although the premise of the conference seems daunting, the actual experience was extremely fun, and the guest speakers brought wonderful color to the seminar. One of the activities, the Free Market Challenge, challenged my group of eight to create a business, market it, and advertise for it while taking into account income and interest. Thus, I have a better grasp on what being an entrepreneur entails. Finally, the new experience of living in a dorm for two nights allowed me to discover what college is potentially like, and to connect with those around me.
What were some of the most memorable things you did there?
Personally, I enjoyed speaker Cordelia Banny's lecture on the role leaders play in our lives and the way in which we can make a difference. However, if I had to name the most fun I had at HOBY, it would be the HOBY Olympics and the HOBY Pony. The Olympics forced my group to work together as a team and communicate better, and also helped us bond as friends. The HOBY Pony was a lovely game that all the ambassadors played in order to take a break from work, and can really only be experienced personally. There is little else more fun than running around inside the circle of people, singing a song, and doing a switch in-and-out dance. And of course, I can't forget the many cheers that are ingrained into my brain, ready to break out at a moments notice.
What was your biggest takeaway from the conference?
I think I left HOBY with a new passion to be active in my community and to make an impact, no matter how small, in the world. My group and I have become close friends, extremely comfortable with each other. We remain in touch with each other and both our junior counselor and our senior facilitator. There is so much I can still describe about HOBY, but I sincerely hope that the rising sophomores will apply! You might even see me there next year, as a junior counselor.
The HOBY leadership conference is a yearly competition recognizing students' abilities to recognize and address social problems in an essay as well as their overall leadership skills. We implore rising sophomores (class of 2022) to apply for the HOBY leadership conference next year. You can ask Ms Calo for details about application and Gabrielle for more information about the conference.