Episcopal junior John Honeycutt was selected as a candidate to represent Louisiana at the 2018 Hugh O’Brian Youth World Leadership Congress in Chicago. The Louisiana Senate commended Honeycutt for his selection with Senate Resolution No.18 during the 2018 Third Extraordinary Session. As a sophomore, Honeycutt and fellow Episcopal student Dariah Deskins, were among 140 students selected to participate in the Louisiana Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Program. Read below to learn more about what Honeycutt has learned through these experiences.
A Path to Leadership.
My experience at HOBY Louisiana was extraordinary. The people I met, the lessons I learned, and the fun I had made the experience a memorable one. For around 140 students to come together from across the state and all get along and strive for a common goal is breathtaking. All of us wanted everyone to have the best time they could, but most specifically everyone wanted to become a better leader, that is what the experience was meant to do.
The lessons of varied speakers ranged far and wide from how to treat others, how to treat yourself, or simply how to make everyday life easier. For example, in one presentation we learned how to set goals. Not just any goals but achievable, measurable, and smart goals.
In another presentation, we learned how there are three parts to every social reaction.
Along with all of the lessons I learned, I met some amazing people. Many people that I met there I still talk to regularly. In fact, my Faculty Advisor is going to come to watch me run at one of my cross country meets soon. Everyone at HOBY wanted to have a good time; you could feel it in the atmosphere. It was one of the most welcoming things I have ever taken part in. For example, throughout the course of the weekend, we would do these songs where everyone would get up and dance and participate. The first few times may have lacked some participation, but at the end, we all warmed up to the idea and were screaming our hearts out.
Finally, I want to touch on the fun I had. Just meeting all of the other high school students there was amazing. Hanging out with fellow high school sophomores and discussing extremely pressing problems, deep topics, or just general everyday stuff was a blessing. Also, at the end of the last day of HOBY, we had a dance. This was no ordinary dance; most everybody danced and had a fantastic time. No one made it awkward to be yourself. It was a freeing experience.
Lastly, I want to state the main lesson I learned from HOBY. That lesson is to Be Who You Are Where You Are. This quote teaches an important lesson and has lots of meaning in a few words. First, it tells the commonly heard lesson for people to be who they are, but more specifically it states “where you are.” This where tells us two things. First, it tells us to be yourself wherever you are, and secondly, it tells us that it is okay to have a dynamic identity. People act differently around different people. Not everyone has one way that they act. This lesson is one that will stay with me for a long time.
John Honeycutt is an Episcopal junior. John was recognized by the Louisiana State Senate for being selected as a candidate to represent Louisiana at the Hugh O'Brian World Leadership Congress. As a sophomore, John attended the Louisiana Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Program.