WORLD LEADERSHIP CONGRESS

Since 1968, the HOBY World Leadership Congress (WLC) has empowered students around the world to broaden their perspective and begin to see themselves as part of something larger—the global community we all share. As the global aspect on HOBY’s Pathway to Leadership, the WLC is a weeklong program designed to empower high school students juniors and seniors to become more mature, confident cognizant leaders and active global citizens.

More than 450 students from throughout the United States and around the world, including students from 14 countries participate in WLC each year, including Argentina, Albania, Mexico, Turkey, China, Spain, Bolivia, Taiwan, Korea, and the United Kingdom participate in WLC each year. Students leave the WLC feeling empowered and equipped with the leadership skills they need to reach achieve their goals and make meaningful contributions to society.

If you’re a high school student with a passion for leadership, community service or global issues, the World Leadership Congress is the program for you!

 
At the WLC, Ambassadors will:

  • Interact with global leaders through keynote speeches, presentations, and mentor meetings
  • Explore and exercise their leadership skills through interactive workshops and activities
  • Experience international diversity through mixed-culture student groups, global snapshots and international presentations
  • Build life-long relationships with other students and establish a global network of young people ready to make a positive impact on the world
  • Participate in community service projects and field trips
  • Build their confidence through hands-on leadership development and experiential learning
  • Have the opportunity to earn two college credits (optional)
ENROLL IN THE WLC

HAVE QUESTIONS?

If you’ve still got questions regarding World Leadership Congress or any of HOBY’s programs, our Chief International Programs Officer, Cheryl Brenn, would be happy to hear from you.

CONTACT Cheryl

WORLD LEADERSHIP CONGRESS HIGHLIGHTS

For more than 50 years, the HOBY World Leadership Congress has been inspiring and empowering young people to become the next generation of global leaders.

Who Attends - Each year, more than 450 high school students (typically rising high school juniors and seniors) from nearly every state and up to 20 countries expand their leadership skills and global perspectives at the World Leadership Congress. The majority of participants have completed a HOBY State Leadership Seminar; however students who have participated in other leadership or service organizations are also eligible to attend the WLC.

What People Are Saying -
“My son loved it. He came away with ideas about what he would like to do, and ways to get it done. I am so pleased that he has had an opportunity to participate in HOBY. HOBY is a really great organization that fulfills a terrific need. Particularly now when the Internet has empowered so many to start effective and sustainable grass-roots movements, the HOBY program is positioned to help kids make their ideas effective. I am so pleased with the impact HOBY has had on my son.”

-Parent of a HOBY alumnus from California, USA

What to Expect - Students who attend HOBY’s World Leadership Congress (WLC):

  • Begin to discover their leadership skills and how to use them
  • Understand leadership and citizenship from a global perspective
  • Interact with leaders from across the U.S. and around the world
  • Experience multicultural diversity
  • Receive two college credits from George Mason University (optional)
  • Participate in community service projects
  • Collaborate with other students on team challenges
  • Build a global network of students, volunteers, and leaders
  • Discover how they can make a positive impact on the world

What's Next:
HOBY Youth Leadership programs serve to focus youth energies on positive activities, leading to increased self-esteem, leadership abilities, and the development of new skills. Young people need opportunities to learn about and discover their leadership skills in meaningful ways.

HOBY offers opportunities to a wide array of individuals on its Pathway to Leadership, including high school students, college students, and professional alumni (post-graduation) from all over the world. At HOBY, you become part of something bigger.


WORLD LEADERSHIP CONGRESS HIGHLIGHTS

For more than 50 years, the HOBY World Leadership Congress has been inspiring and empowering young people to become the next generation of global leaders.

Who Attends:
Each year, more than 450 high school students (typically rising high school juniors and seniors) from nearly every state and up to 20 countries expand their leadership skills and global perspectives at the World Leadership Congress. The majority of participants have completed a HOBY State Leadership Seminar; however students who have participated in other leadership or service organizations are also eligible to attend the WLC.

What People Are Saying:
My son loved it. He came away with ideas about what he would like to do, and ways to get it done. I am so pleased that he has had an opportunity to participate in HOBY. HOBY is a really great organization that fulfills a terrific need. Particularly now when the Internet has empowered so many to start effective and sustainable grass-roots movements, the HOBY program is positioned to help kids make their ideas effective. I am so pleased with the impact HOBY has had on my son.

-Parent of a HOBY alumnus from California

What To Expect - Students who attend HOBY’s World Leadership Congress (WLC):
Begin to discover their leadership skills and how to use them
Expand leadership skills from a global perspective
Interact with leaders from across the U.S. and around the world
Experience multicultural diversity
Receive two college credits from George Mason University (optional)
Participate in community service projects
Collaborate with other students on team challenges
Build a global network of students, volunteers, and leaders
Discover how they can make a positive impact on the world

What's Next:
HOBY Youth Leadership programs serve to focus youth energies on positive activities, leading to increased self-esteem, leadership abilities, and the development of new skills. Young people need opportunities to learn about and discover their leadership skills in meaningful ways.

HOBY offers opportunities to a wide array of individuals on its Pathway to Leadership, including high school students, college students, and professional alumni (post-graduation) from all over the world. At HOBY, you become part of something bigger.

  • world_leadership_congress_white WHO ATTENDS
  • family WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
  • outcomes_1 WHAT TO EXPECT
  • pathway WHAT'S NEXT

 

WLC ENROLLMENT

WLC 2020 will take place July 26* to August 1, 2020,
on the campus of Loyola University Chicago in Chicago, Illinois.

*International students will arrive on Saturday, July 25th

ENROLL IN THE WLC DOWNLOAD THE POST-WLC TOUR OF CHICAGO BROCHURE

 

INFORMATIONAL WEBINARS

Would you like more information on the 2020 World Leadership Congress? Or do you have questions you would like to ask? Join us for one of our WLC Webinars and learn more about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Sign up for one of the following webinars (each at 8 p.m. Eastern Time) by emailing brennc@hoby.org to reserve your spot and receive the webinar link. Dates are:

  1. November 13, 2019
  2. December 11, 2019
  3. January 8, 2020

Please include the date you prefer and one alternate date along with any questions you may have so we can either answer them directly prior to the webinar or include them as part of the program.

Attend an Informational Webinar:

SIGN UP TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT

WORLD LEADERSHIP CONGRESS:
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Below is an overview of the most frequently asked questions about HOBY’s WLC. For the full list of FAQs, please click below.

COMPREHENSIVE FAQ
  • WHEN AND WHERE?

    HOBY’s 2020 World Leadership Congress (WLC) will take place at Loyola University Chicago’s Lakeshore Campus overlooking Lake Michigan.

    For students from the United States, the dates are Sunday, July 26 through Saturday, August 1, 2020.

    For international students, arrival date is Saturday, July 25 through departure day, Saturday, August 1, 2020.

  • HOW MUCH?

    The program registration fee for the 2019 World Leadership Congress is $1,825 USD per student, all-inclusive of on-site experiences including ground transportation, accommodation and meals, field trips, and program expenses. A $100 nonrefundable deposit is due at the time of registration to hold your space until the payment deadlines. An enrollment will not be considered active until the deposit is received. You can view deadlines and optional registration items through the link below.

    Ambassadors and their families are responsible for their own travel arrangements to and from WLC. HOBY will provide ground transportation between the airport and Loyola University.

    Please note: If you are part of an organized international delegation, check with your country coordinator for more details on the full program price and deposit requirements from your coordinating organization.

    For more FAQs about program expenses, click below.

    LEARN MORE
  • COLLEGE CREDITS

    HOBY is proud to partner with nationally ranked George Mason University (GMU) to offer two transferable college credits for participants in the World Leadership Congress.

    At the conclusion of WLC, students will receive their post-WLC assignments, they will need to submit a final paper and assignments from their workbook. These assignments will be evaluated, and two pass/fail credits as part of GMU’s Special Topics in Leadership course will be awarded for successfully completing and submitting all WLC program requirements.

    Please note: This is an optional element for ambassadors and requires an additional tuition cost of $200. This fee is established by George Mason University and will be forwarded directly to the university by HOBY, with proof of student’s successful completion of the program.

  • DOMESTIC STUDENT ELIGIBILITY

    Are you are currently a high school sophomore or junior with an interest in leadership, global citizenship, and community service? If you have already attended a HOBY State Leadership Seminar, you are already eligible. If you’re not a HOBY alumni, but have leadership or community service experience through another organization, you’re also eligible to attend the World Leadership Congress.

    The dates of the program for domestic students is Sunday, July 26 – Saturday, August 1 and the enrollment fee is $1,795.

  • INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ELIGIBILITY

    International students between the ages of 15 and 17 with conversational proficiency in English and an interest in leadership, global citizenship, and community service are welcome at HOBY’s World Leadership Congress.

    The dates of the program for international students is Sunday, July 25 – Saturday, August 1 and the enrollment fee is $1,950.

  • ENROLLMENT

    The dates of the program for domestic students is Sunday, July 26 – Saturday, August 1 and the enrollment fee is $1,795.

    The dates of the program for international students is Saturday, July 25 – Saturday, August 1 and the enrollment fee is $1,950.

    A $100 nonrefundable deposit is due at the time of registration to hold your space until the payment deadlines specified below. An enrollment will not be considered active until the deposit is received.

    The program registration fee for the World Leadership Congress is all-inclusive and covers all of your on-site expenses including ground transportation, accommodation and meals, program expenses, etc. Ambassadors and their families are responsible for their own travel cost to and from Chicago, and for any individual spending money for the on-site HOBY Store, luggage fees, and any other incidental expenses.

  • ENROLLMENT DEADLINES
    Enrollment / Cancellation Deadlines Deadline
    Enrollment Deadline for 2019 HOBY Ambassadors March 1, 2020
    Cancellations made by this date will receive a registration fee refund minus the $100 deposit and a $250 administrative fee. May 31, 2020
    Enrollment Deadline for International Students June 19, 2020
    Enrollment Deadline for 2020 HOBY Ambassadors July 1, 2020
    Cancellations made by this date will receive a registration fee refund minus the $100 deposit and a $500 administrative fee. June 30, 2020
    All Payments Due July 1, 2020
    Optional Items Cost
    WLC Photo Package $25
    International Student Late Departure (Sunday, August 2, 2020) $150
    Two transferable college credits (issued by George Mason University) $200
    Cancellations made by this date will receive a registration fee refund minus the $100 deposit and a $500 administrative fee. June 28, 2020
    Post-WLC Tour of Chicago $525
  • WHAT IS THE POST-WLC TOUR OF CHICAGO?

    Download the information brochure below:

    DOWNLOAD THE POST-WLC TOUR OF CHICAGO BROCHURE
  • FUND-RAISING

    Students are encouraged to actively raise funds to cover their registration expenses. To download our Student Fund-raising Guide, click below.

    DOWNLOAD NOW
  • STUDENT SAFETY

    Student safety is a primary concern in all of our programs. HOBY has rigid risk-management policies and procedures in place to keep all students and volunteers safe.

    Our safety procedures include:

    • Students are never allowed to leave campus unsupervised at any time.
    • Students must use the buddy system at all times.
    • Every student is assigned to a group of 10 to 12 other students with an adult facilitator. Students move from place to place with their group.
    • Students are supervised from breakfast to bed checks.
    • Students and volunteers are given HOBY T-shirts for the week, making it easy to identify our group members anywhere we go.
    • All HOBY staff and volunteers submit to a nationwide criminal background check.
    • All HOBY staff and volunteers are required to sign a code of conduct.
    • HOBY has a team of medical professionals on-site throughout the WLC
    • HOBY works with Campus Safety at Loyola University to ensure emergency plans are in place. Our volunteers are trained in emergency protocols.
      • The World Leadership Congress takes place at Loyola University Chicago on its Lakeshore Campus, located in the Rogers Park neighborhood on the far north side of Chicago. Rogers Park is bordered by Evanston, Illinois, and Lake Michigan.

WORLD LEADERSHIP CONGRESS:
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Below is the comprehensive list of our Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who is eligible to attend the WLC?

    If you fall into any of the following categories, you can attend the 2019 World Leadership Congress:

    • You attended a HOBY Leadership Seminar in the United States or another country in 2019.
    • You are attending a HOBY Leadership Seminar in 2020.
    • You are an international student between the ages of 15 and 17, with conversational proficiency in English.
    • You’ve received a special invitation from HOBY or a HOBY partner organization.
  • What information do I need to have ready before I register for the WLC?
    • Student contact information (including an accurate email address)
    • Parent contact information (including an accurate email address)
    • Emergency contact information
    • Current school information, including school contact
    • Medical history and information, including record of inoculations, any medications, and any medical conditions
  • When will I receive final confirmation of acceptance?

    A student’s final official attendee confirmation can only be sent when full payment has been received. You must submit a $100 nonrefundable deposit upon enrollment to have your registration considered active. Any enrollment received without the required deposit will be moved to a waiting list until a deposit is received.

  • Do you have to attend the entire event?

    Yes. Students registered in a HOBY program must be present for the entire event.

  • What does the enrollment fee cover?

    For domestic students (students residing in the United States), the program enrollment fee for the 2020 World Leadership Congress is $1,795 USD per student.

    For international students (students residing outside of the United States), the program enrollment fee for the 2020 World Leadership Congress is $1950 per student.

    The enrollment fee covers all meals, seven nights’ accommodations, program expenses including materials, entrance fees, and ground transportation during WLC including transportation to and from travel gateways to the campus. The registration fee does not cover student travel costs to Chicago, visa or passport expenses, overseas partner costs for delegations, spending money, or the optional post-WLC Chicago tour program.

  • How can payments be made?

    HOBY accepts checks and all major credit cards. HOBY accepts installment payments through the student’s online registration—details on how to do this are included in an auto-email sent upon completion of the online enrollment.

  • Does HOBY accept payments for students from sponsors?

    Yes, as long as the payment is made payable to HOBY and indicates the student’s name, we will apply that to any outstanding fee balance.

  • How much money does a student need for the week?

    Students will only need money for incidentals during travel, and spending money for the HOBY Store or convenience store items. Students participating in the optional post-WLC Chicago tour program should bring additional money for incidentals during that program.

  • Does HOBY provide scholarships or financial assistance to applicants?

    International and domestic students can request a HOBY WLC Scholarship Application by emailing wlc@hoby.org . Please note that scholarship assistance is extremely limited, and will be based on financial need and merit. HOBY highly encourages you to actively fund-raise for your program expenses. You can download HOBY’s Student Fund-raising Guide by clicking below.

    DOWNLOAD NOW
  • What is the cancellation policy?

    HOBY World Leadership Congress Cancellation Policy:

    • Students must submit a $100 nonrefundable deposit with their registration; any remaining balance due must be paid in full by July 1, 2020.
    • Any cancellations received by May 31, 2020 will receive a registration fee refund minus the $100 deposit and a $250 administrative fee.
    • Any cancellations received by June 28, 2020 will receive a registration fee refund minus the $100 deposit and $500 administrative fee.
    • Any cancellations received after June 28, 2020 will not be eligible for a refund.
  • Does HOBY meet students upon arrival in Chicago?

    Yes. HOBY will have teams of volunteers situated at the baggage claim areas of each airport and the train/bus station to meet incoming students, typically starting at 7 a.m. on arrival day. We staff the primary travel gateways into Chicago, including:

    • Chicago O’Hare International Airport—
      Alaska, American, Delta, United, SkyWest, Spirit, WestJet, WOW Air
    • Chicago Midway International Airport—
      Southwest, Delta, Porter Airlines
    • Chicago Union Station—
      Amtrak, MegaBus, Greyhound
  • What date and time should participants plan to arrive in Chicago?

    All students should plan to be on campus on Saturday, July 20, 2019, by 3 p.m. if possible. We understand that travel schedules may limit options, but the recommended arrival window is 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • My child is flying to Chicago on their own. Should they fly on an unaccompanied-minor ticket?

    No. This is very difficult for HOBY, as it requires extra staff and extra time for every student who flies as an unaccompanied minor. Most airlines only require an unaccompanied minor ticket for children under 12. However, United Airlines requires this type of ticket for all children age 15 and younger and charges an extra $150 fee each way, with only direct flights permitted.

  • How does HOBY know when we’re arriving?

    We ask that you update your student’s registration record with travel details by July 7, 2019. This allows us to track all inbound student on arrival day and keep the airport teams updated with flight arrivals. All students should follow the signs throughout the airport directing them to baggage claim where HOBY staff will be stationed in HOBY T-shirts, holding signs identifying themselves.

  • When should student’s return travel be scheduled for?

    All students should plan to depart campus by 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 1, 2020. Transportation to Chicago O’Hare International and Midway International Airports and Union Station will be provided from the Loyola campus. We recommend booking a departure from Chicago anytime between 6AM. and 1PM. Students will be assigned to a shuttle bus based on their scheduled departure time every hour between 3AM and 10AM. Shuttles leave a minimum of three hours in advance of students’ departure times to allow for any traffic delays or ticket counter and security backups.

    Students participating in the post-WLC Chicago tour program that concludes at noon on Monday, August 3, 2020, should book departure times between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Monday, Monday, August 3. Students will be transported to their travel gateway approximately three hours in advance of their departure.

  • We live within driving distance of Chicago, can my student drive to the WLC?

    No, we do not allow students to drive themselves to the program. Students may be dropped off at campus, fly, or take a train or bus to Chicago.

  • Can HOBY give me the names of other students going to WLC from our state/site so that our children may fly together?

    HOBY cannot give out this information without a parent’s consent. Please make sure you check this option on the WLC application. This will allow us to share this information with other students and parents.

  • I am an international student and I would like to come to the WLC. Can you assist me with the visa paperwork? What are the U.S. requirements that I need to fulfill to travel to America?

    Students who attend the WLC from a country other than the United States are responsible for coordinating their own travel arrangements and obtaining all necessary travel documents. Depending on the country of origin, this may include obtaining a passport and nonimmigrant visa. HOBY will do its best to assist by contacting the U.S. embassy with an official letter of invitation that validates your trip. Once you have registered and paid in full, we will work with you to provide the necessary documentation for your visa application. Please contact us at wlc@hoby.org for assistance.

    To learn about travel requirements for visiting the U.S. from your country, visit the U.S. State Department’s website by clicking the link below. When using the Visa Wizard, enter your country, select "Tourism or Visit" for the reason you are travelling to the U.S., and click on the "Find a Visa" Button.

    U.S. STATE DEPT SITE
  • What are the accommodations for students?

    All students are housed in double-occupancy dormitory rooms on campus. Each student will have a roommate. Rooms have two beds, desks, and closets. Floors are all single-gender.

  • Do students need to bring linens and towels with them?

    No. Linens and towels will be provided by the university, although students may want to bring an extra towel or light blanket with them.

  • Will there be adequate adult supervision?

    Yes. HOBY programs have a minimum of one adult (21 years or older) for every 12 students at all times. Students are never left unaccompanied or allowed to walk across campus, off campus, or any other location involved with the seminar without supervision.

  • Can I observe the seminar program or check on my student during the week?

    We discourage having parents present during WLC so that students can find their own voice and step out of their comfort zone. You may have your child call you to check in via their personal cell phone or public phone after the daily program concludes (typically between 10PM. and 11PM CDT). However, phones must be turned off during all program sessions. An emergency contact number for reaching HOBY personnel is included in the advance materials sent to each student.

    Parents and family members are invited to attend the WLC Celebration Banquet on Thursday, July 25th at 6:00PM (CST). Prior to the banquet there will be a reception for parents and guests at 5:00PM (CST). The WLC Celebration Banquet will be held at the Revel Fulton Market | 1215 W. Fulton Market | Chicago | IL | 60607 | 773-486-9010. Parents, family members and/or friends who wish to attend the celebration can purchase tickets by Clicking Here. Please Note - The WLC Celebration Banquet is complimentary for ambassadors as it's included in the WLC enrollment fee.

  • What should I do if I haven’t heard from my student in several days?

    This typically means your child is busy and engaged. There is a strict no-cell-phone rule for all official seminar functions, so students will not have the opportunity to place or receive phone calls during the day. If you don’t hear from your child, consider that a sign that they are busy and taking full advantage of the program. HOBY does send parent updates via email a minimum of every other day during the week. We will use the parent email addresses listed in the WLC registration system, so be sure to include a valid parent email.

  • What is the dress code for the WLC?

    Students will be provided with HOBY T-shirts to wear during the program, and dress code is “neat casual” during most of the event. Students will want to bring a dressier outfit for the banquet (semi formal). Please also note, the following attire is not permitted during HOBY events:

    • Strapless/tube tops
    • Tops with spaghetti straps
    • Tank tops
    • Bare midriffs
    • Exposure of undergarments
    • Short-shorts
    • Miniskirts
    • Excessively tight clothing
    • Clothing with profane or offensive language or graphics
    • Torn clothing
    • Clothing with holes

    Please note: There are some clothing items every student should plan to pack for our community service project:

    • Long pants
    • Closed-toe shoes (sneakers or tennis shoes are fine)
  • My child has food allergies and/or has a special diet. Can you make accommodations?

    Yes. The Loyola University dining hall has multiple options for vegetarians, vegans, religious restrictions, and various allergies. Please make sure this information is indicated in the General Restrictions portion of the online registration form. If the dining hall cannot accommodate a student’s needs, we will make special arrangements with off-campus vendors.

  • My child requires special accommodations. Is HOBY equipped to handle such cases?

    We try to accommodate as many students as possible and will work with the student and family to make reasonable accommodations if possible. Please make sure the Personal Medical History section of the application and especially the section regarding special accommodations is completed accurately so we can assist your child appropriately. Specific questions should be directed to Cheryl Brenn, HOBY’s Chief International Programs Officer, at brennc@hoby.org .

    To read HOBY’s medical policy, click below:

    LEARN MORE
  • Is there an opportunity for students to tour Chicago after the WLC?

    Yes. HOBY has planned a post-WLC tour of Chicago for interested students from Saturday, August 1, to Monday, August 3. Students and tour chaperones will stay at Loyola University Chicago Water Tower Campus located in downtown Chicago (one block from Michigan Avenue) and will take in such Chicago attractions as Navy Pier, Shedd Aquarium, the Hancock Tower Observation Deck, and other great sights of Chicago. You can register for this program when you complete your registration for the World Leadership Congress. Click below for more information on the Post-WLC Tour.

    DOWNLOAD NOW

    Students participating in the Post-WLC Chicago Tour Program should make their travel plans to depart after 2 p.m. on Monday, July 29, 2019.

  • What if I have additional questions?

    Please direct your questions to wlc@hoby.org.