Ansley student sets sights on World Leadership Congress

ANSLEY - - Jordan Rapp may be only an incoming high school junior, but he already has clear-cut goals for his future. And he is spending part of his summer paving the way toward achieving those goals. Rapp, a student at Ansley High School, was chosen to attend the Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership (HOBY) World Leadership Congress in Chicago, July 23-30. The World Leadership Congress is held on the campus of Loyola University Chicago, and is an annual international youth leadership event that brings together students from the U.S. and abroad. This group of more than 400 ambassadors come from all four corners of the globe, convening for a week-long, life-changing, educational and leadership skills building program. Each state hosts its own HOBY conference, of which Rapp was one of the Nebraska high school students in attendance. Students are selected for the HOBY conference based on recommendations from teachers, with up to two sophomore students from each school selected. The state conference was June 10-12 at Hastings College. Only 500 spots are available at the World Leadership Conference. The number of representatives each state can send is based upon the attendance at the state level. This year Nebraska qualified to send five students to the World Congress. Of those five, Rapp is the only delegate from the western part of the state - the rest are from the Omaha/Lincoln metro area. The purpose of the World Leadership Congress is to provide today's youth with the training and tools to become tomorrow's leaders. Participants have access to a distinguished group of leaders from a variety of backgrounds including business, international affairs, science and technology, medicine, media and education. All ambassadors to the World Congress must be either a U.S. high school sophomore who first attended a HOBY regional or state seminar, or an international student between the ages of 15 and 17 who have first attended a local program in their respective home country. Here is how the HOBY selection process works. Each September, HOBY sophomore registration kits are sent to more than 22,000 public, private and charter high schools in the U.S. All 10th graders are eligible for selection to attend one of the three or four day seminars. A sophomore leader may be selected by each school and is certified by the principal. HOBY's seminars focus on the theme, "Empower. Lead. Excel.", while encouraging the young leaders toward responsible citizenship, including community service and volunteerism. And while all of that sounds very intense, Rapp says it is lots of fun. "The local seminar was a lot of fun, and the World Congress will offer a lot more. Plus, it looks good on scholarships," he says with a smile. The cost to attend the 8-day World Leadership Congress is $1,600, which covers not only the seminar but all food, lodging and ground transportation. Rapp says he would be very appreciative for any financial support he may receive toward paying for the World Leadership Congress. "I am really looking forward to learning new skills - - and having fun!," says Rapp. Jordan Rapp is the son of Kevin and Jeanne Rapp of Ansley, and will be a junior at Ansley High School this fall. Right now he says his future plans are a career in business administration and management information systems. If you would like to make a contribution to Jordan for the World Leadership Congress, you may contact his mom at Ansley Public Schools, at 308-935-1121.