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Monroeville High School junior looking for help to attend HOBY

• Jun 22, 2018 at 1:00 PM

NOTE: The following letter to the editor was written by Grace Newell of Norwalk:

My name is Grace Newell and I will be a junior at Monroeville High School after beginning my education at St. Joseph’s Catholic School. This past school year, after not sending anyone for the last six years, I was recommended by my principal Mr. Jim Kaczor and school counselor Mrs. Jennifer Harvey to represent my high school at the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference (HOBY).

Founded in 1958, HOBY’s mission is to inspire and develop our global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated participate in unique leadership training, service-training, and motivation-building experiences, beginning a lifelong dedication to improving the lives of others. Due to the selfless efforts of volunteers and the contributions of generous donors, more than 10,000 students participate in HOBY programs annually. 

This past week, I was fortunate enough to attend the HOBY Ohio West Conference with more than 200 students from surrounding schools at Ohio Northern University. This experience has given me the motivation and a pathway to work towards achieving my already existing dreams. The Hugh O’Brian Youth organization has given me access to resources and the wherewithal that I may use to better serve my community. While at this conference I learned that the Hugh O’BrianYouth World Leadership Conference will be held at Loyola University in Chicago this coming July. As this conference moves its location yearly, often in other countries completely, I feel very fortunate it is so close to my hometown. This will also add more balance to my college resume. By attending this conference, along with the one I attended last week, I will continue to work on establishing a strong set of leadership skills that I can use both personally, and in the volunteerism that has been a substantial part for my own life.

From an early age, I have led many social service projects, including a bake sale for the Maryknoll Sisters of Saint Dominic Inc. at age 9, raising more than $1,200 for the Philippine relief fund by speaking at my home parish at the age 11, along with many other projects in my elementary years. Throughout my middle and high school years, I have completed more than 300 hours of service in my local community. These hours ranged form cleaning headstones at our own Riverside Cemetery, to volunteering at non-profit Piggyback Foundation’s resale store, to volunteering at my local public libraries. I plan to devote my life to the service and care of the poor, ailing and marginalized.

The cost of the conference will be $2,300 plus the cost to travel. Unfortunately, because I learned of this opportunity so late, I am running very short on time to raise this money. The deadline for registration and payment is Wednesday. I am sincerely hoping that by a donation or a pledge, you will help me reach my goal and sponsor me on this journey to becoming a better citizen and leader in this community and world that I cherish.

Thank you for your time.

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