SOUTH WHITLEY – Samuel Rickerd, a sophomore at Whitko High School, attended the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar held at University if Indianapolis in Indianapolis on June 11.

Rickerd joined more than 150 other high school leaders from the region.

Each spring, select area sophomores from public and private high schools convene at one of 70 leadership seminars across the country to recognize and apply leadership talents and become effective and ethical leaders.

Student participants take part in hands-on activities, meet leaders in their state, and explore their own personal leadership skills while learning how to lead others and make a positive impact in their community.

At the end of their seminars, participants are challenged to give back by serving at least 100 volunteer hours in their communities. Students who complete the leadership for service challenge within 12 months of their seminar are eligible for the HOBY L4S challenge award and the President’s volunteer service award.

Alumni who log 4,000 hours of service receive the President’s Call to Service Award from HOBY.

To date, HOBY attendees have performed over 3 million hours of volunteer service in their communities.

Following a motivational meeting with 1952 Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Albert Schweitzer during a trip to Africa in 1958, actor Hugh O’Brian was inspired to establish Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership.

“One of the things Dr. Schweitzer said to me was that the most important thing in education was to teach young people to think for themselves,” O’Brian has said.

O’Brian died in 2016.