Each spring, select area sophomores convene at one of the 70 State Leadership Seminars across the country to recognize their leadership talents and apply them to becoming effective and ethical leaders. Student participants (known as HOBY Ambassadors) 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, HOBY Ambassadors are challenged to give back by serving at least 100 volunteer hours in their communities. Students who complete the Leadership for Service (L4S) 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 Ambassadors have performed over 3 million hours of volunteer service in their communities.

Following a motivational meeting with 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 said. “From that inspiration, and with the support of others who believe in youth and the American dream, I started HOBY to seek out, recognize, and develop outstanding leadership potential among our nation’s youth.”

Homeschoolers Ben Wade of Triadelphia and Emma Meadows of Alkol have been selected to attend the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar held at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV. Wade and Meadows will be joined by many other young high school leaders from the region.

For further information about HOBY programs and sponsorship opportunities contact your state Chapter’s Co-Directors of Recruitment at Amber Kelley, or Katie Padden,


For 60 years, Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) has helped to cultivate leaders by inspiring a global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service, and innovation. HOBY programs annually provide more than 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 annually and over 500,000 alumni proudly make up the HOBY family. For further information on HOBY, visit “Like” Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership on Facebook at and follow the organization on Twitter via @HOBY

Confusion in the Legislature

While ultimately HB 3127, the Tim Tebow bill, did not pass during the 2019 legislative session, statements made during the debate have created significant confusion among West Virginia homeschoolers—after all, if a lawmaker made a statement on the floor of the Legislature, it must be true, right?


In an effort to clear up confusion in the homeschool community, here are some clarifications:

  • West Virginia homeschool requirements are set by the state, not the county. Therefore, every county has the same homeschool requirements. Parents need to know the requirements so they may  defend themselves against overzealous administrators who regularly provide forms or other documents that request more than is legally required. See WV Code §18-8-1(c) for more details.
  • By law, every homeschool student must be assessed every year, and the results retained for three years. Homeschooling parents have used these end-of-year assessments to guard against charges of educational neglect, to place their students in courses, and to assist them with college entrance. See WV Code §18-8-1(c)(2)(C) for more details.
  • Parents have the choice of four assessment methods. Due to issues that homeschoolers have had with methods 2 and 4, WVHEA recommends standardized testing or a portfolio review. See WV Code §18-8-1(c)(2)(C) for more details.
    1. standardized testing,
    2. public school testing,
    3. portfolio review, or
    4. a mutually agreed-upon alternative assessment.
  • Every homeschool student who complies with WV Code §18-8-1(c) meets school attendance requirements, as per WV state law. According to the WVSSAC handbook 127-2-6.3, students participating in WVSSAC-regulated activities are not all required to attend full day class periods, so homeschooled students aren’t requesting any changes in attendance expectations.
  • Every homeschooled student is required to obtain un-graded records of satisfactory progress as per WV Code §18-8-1(c), just like students participating in WVSSAC-regulated activities may participate based on un-graded records of satisfactory progress as per WVSSAC handbook 126-26-3.h

–Courtney Ostaff