About HOBY Texas Gulf Coast


Since its inception in 1958, HOBY has carried out its mission “to seek out, recognize and develop leadership potential commencing with high school sophomores, and to encourage and prepare the next generation of civic and corporate leadership for America’s future.”


This year marks the 35th year that a HOBY seminar has been held in Southeast Texas. HOBY Texas Gulf Coast (TGC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves Houston and the surrounding area, as far north as Lufkin, northwest to Bryan-College Station, and southwest to Hallettsville. Previously, the seminar has been held at Rice University, and Texas A&M University-Galveston, but this year we're excited to be hosting our seminar at the University of Houston - Main Campus! 

The Texas Gulf Coast leadership seminar runs for three days and exposes more than 200 area sophomores to business and community leaders from the region. HOBY develops leadership skills and encourages interaction between the student ambassadors and community leaders and role models. Through discussion panels and activities, participants are challenged to examine issues critically and draw their own conclusions to form their opinions. At the end of the seminar, one male and one female ambassador are selected to attend HOBY’s World Leadership Congress as HOBY TGC representatives.  Two spots are reserved for our selected students, but any alumnus can register and attend if spots are available.


HOBY TGC brings outstanding high school sophomore students together for an interactive 3-day seminar annually.  The students, called ambassadors, learn to think for themselves through panel discussions, speakers, and leadership exercises. Our generous supporters allow us to offer this experience to one student from each high school at no cost to the student.


Each high school is responsible for the evaluation process and selection of their student ambassador that will attend the seminar. The selection process is left entirely up to each school but generally starts with a nomination from a teacher, counselor or coach that recognizes leadership potential in the student.  All sophomore students in the Texas Gulf Coast region are encouraged to visit with their high school counselors regarding HOBY TGC participation.


HOBY TGC is financed by monetary donations from corporations, civic organizations, and individuals, as well as through gifts-in-kind. All of the HOBY TGC Corporate Board and Seminar Planning Committee members are volunteers and receive no salary, as well as the additional ~65 volunteers that help execute the annual seminar.  


The Corporate Board works throughout the year to ensure that the cost of attendance is not a limiting factor for any student to attend our seminar. When a school registers a student, it pays a registration fee that covers about 40% of the estimated cost to host HOBY TGC the seminar. The rest of the cost is funded through the generous donations of our supporters, including individuals, corporations, and cooperating organizations such as Kiwanis, Optimists, General Federation of Women’s Clubs, and NMA.

HOBY International has also introduced an “alternate” program, which which allows schools to nominate and send more than one student ambassador to the seminar based on availability. This program allows us to reach even more future leaders and broadens the impact of the HOBY. 


We are always working with schools, local businesses, our volunteers, and our supporting organizations to explore other potential fundraising sources.

The most important thing in education is to make young people think for themselves.