Woman’s Club bestows HOBY awards to deserving students Gift Osueke, Jacqueline Baltierra

Photo Colton Woman’s Club: Pictured from left: Heather Butterworth, Bloomington High School Counselor; Jerry Almendarez, CJUSD Superintendent; award recipients Gift Osueke (CHS) and Jacqueline Baltierra (BHS); and Joan Prost, HOBY Coordinator for Colton Woman's Club.
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On Tuesday January 8, the Colton Woman’s Club at 495 North 7th Street in Colton held their monthly Membership Luncheon Meeting.  About 75 people attended the meeting in which the Woman’s Club regular business was handled prior to the presenting of the annual HOBY scholarship award to two local area students.

HOBY is a youth leadership seminar that was first founded in 1958 by the late Hollywood actor Hugh O’Brien.  The HOBY organization grants the prestigious Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award to those who have demonstrated prominence in leading, educating and motivating youth.  Past world leaders and American presidents who have received the Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award include:  Dolores and Bob Hope, General Colin L. Powell (Ret.), President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan, Raisa and Mikhail Gorbachev, Secretary of State and Former First Lady Hillary Clinton, and President and Mrs. George H. W. Bush.

The HOBY award granted by the Woman’s Club in Colton is granted to a sophomore from Colton High School and another from Bloomington High School.  It provides the cost of the HOBY State Leadership Conference in Westlake, which is one of 70 national HOBY Conferences held for approximately 10,000 sophomores across the United States.  The students attend the three- or four-day conference to sharpen their leadership skills in order to become more effective leaders in their communities.

The process for winning this scholarship is for the students to first write an essay about why they want to attend the HOBY conference, and then to complete an interview with Colton Woman’s Club members Joan Prost and Lori Edwards.  After that, the winners are announced. 

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This year, the HOBY scholarships were presented to Colton High School sophomore Gift Osueke and Bloomington High School sophomore Jacqueline Baltierra.   Those in attendance included Gift’s father Desmond Osueke, Jacqueline’s aunt Consuela Baltierra, Bloomington High School counselor Heather Butterworth and Colton Joint Unified School District Superintendent Jerry Almendarez. Dena Leavitt, President of the Colton Woman’s Club said of the presentation, “I am so proud to be a part of an organization that does such great things for the students in our school district.  We’ve been participating in the HOBY program through scholarships for about 15 years now; my mother and two aunts were Colton Woman’s Club members, and it’s wonderful to continue the legacy through the generations to see the students have a chance to enhance their leadership skills.” 

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