TROY-- This is Richmond Gunter and he is living proof that leadership can be a lifestyle with the correct training.
"Things that this program really enforces is the value of integrity, the value of service before yourself, and the desire to do excellent work in all that you do. So for me that's something that I've really taken away and applied to the rest of my life." said Richmond Gunter, Junior Staff Counselor for HOBY.
And that program is called Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Conference, or better known as HOBY. This conference is held every year at troy university to teach young people how to build on their leadership skills. But Gunter's involvement with HOBY didn't stop there.
"I volunteered for two years on Alumni staff, which meant I was up leading cheers and working with that, and this year I'm a Junior Counselor." said Gunter.
Hugh O'Brian founded this leadership organization over fifty years ago, and his aim was to teach America's youth, at the right age, to be ripple effects in their communities.
"We really feel like at fifteen, sixteen-years-old that's really when they can learn the aspects of leadership that we're trying to teach them. Hugh just thought that was an impressionable age." said Ryan Spry, Corporate Board President for HOBY.
"And nearly 300 rising juniors from all over the state of Alabama came to Troy's campuses to take part in the HOBY event."
"That really is a great time for people to go through because as you get to be a junior and a senior you really start to step into some of those leadership roles. At that point, you really have a vague idea of what you maybe want to major in and you're still kinda unsure about where you're going to college." said Gunter.
But no matter how unsure they are of their future, these individuals have been selected by their high school officials and named potential leaders.
"If the people who are in right now have been kinda picked out as the leaders of this state, if they continue to grow, continue to develop their leadership, we in the state of Alabama have nothing to worry about." said Gunter.
And that gives a whole new meaning to the saying "Today's youth is tomorrow's future."