Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When is the 2022 HOBY Tennessee seminar?
A: The seminar dates will be announced in the fall.

Q: How much does it cost to attend?
A: The cost to send a student ambassador to HOBY TN will be announced in the fall.

Q: What happens at a HOBY TN seminar?
A: HOBY seminars are specifically designed to help teach students how to think, not what to think.  Dynamic speakers and community leaders will interact with students to discuss a variety of topics such as volunteerism, business, politics, and human rights.  Students form friendships and make connections with other sophomores from across Tennessee in small groups, and learn more about their own leadership skills and interests with a variety of educational games and activities.

Community service is a vital element of every HOBY seminar, and HOBY TN ambassadors will participate in a community service activity during the seminar and challenged to volunteer at least 100 hours of service in their own communities within the next year.

Q: Who runs HOBY TN?
A: HOBY TN is affiliated with HOBY International, but the local program is run entirely by dedicated volunteers, many of whom are alumni from the program themselves.

Who are we? Our volunteers are attorneys, reporters, teachers, college students, event planners, medics, and non-profit professionals.  Our goal is to share with each ambassador what HOBY has given us: a focus for our service, the ability to challenge traditional thought, and the courage to lead.  Each volunteer is carefully screened by HOBY International staff, completed a background check, and participated in training events throughout the year.

Q: Can students leave the seminar early or arrive late if they have a conflict such as a sports meet, prom, graduation, or need to study for a test?
A:No. To participate in HOBY, students must be on campus Friday morning by 9:00am,  and stay until the closing ceremonies on Sunday afternoon at 1:00pm. We understand there are other activities and programs at the same time as HOBY and difficult choices might have to be made but our policy will not allow us to have students attend on an adjusted schedule.   We are not able to make any exceptions to this rule so if the chosen student cannot commit to attend the full HOBY program, school counselors must select an alternate student to go in his or her place.

Q: Can parents sit in on the conference?
A: No, and here’s why: when a student gets to the HOBY seminar, there’s a good chance they won’t know a single other student there.  Stepping out of one’s comfort zone is a key element of the HOBY program and students have reported to us year after year that the chance to interact with people who have no preconceived notions about them gave them the freedom to truly discover their own voice.  Students are encouraged to leave behind the labels, cliques, and prejudices that they may walk in with and explore who it is that they truly want to be.

Before the HOBY seminar, parents will be given an emergency contact list of senior staff members so they will be able to reach their child in the event of an emergency.  Parents will also be invited to a closing ceremony and luncheon at the conclusion of the weekend.

Q: Can students pick their own roommates in the dorm?
A: No. One of our goals is for students to meet dozens of new students and expand their circle of friends so roommates are assigned prior to the seminar.  Our schedule runs from early in the morning until right before bedtime, so the time that dorm roommates spend together is actually very limited and should not be a cause for worry!

Have another question?