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Students headed for leadership conference

April 13, 1999

Sophomores from each of Washington County's high schools will attend a four-day leadership conference in Columbia from Thursday until Sunday.

More than 250 students statewide were selected to go to the 1999 Maryland Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Seminar, held at the Sheraton Columbia Inn.

In Washington County, nine students were selected: Elizabeth Smith of Boonsboro High School, Travis Bennett of Clear Spring High School, Bethany Sterner of Hancock High School, Jennifer Aiken of North Hagerstown High School, Jessica Fitzwater of Smithsburg High School, Matthew Belin of South Hagerstown High School, Dmitry Tchoura of St. James School, Carrie Haywood of St. Maria Goretti High School and Stacy Beckley of Williamsport High School.

Established by actor Hugh O'Brian in 1958, HOBY seeks to develop leadership potential in high school sophomores. The seminars bring students together with local and national leaders in a variety of fields such as sports, industry, government and media.

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For example, Executive Director of the Maryland Stadium Authority Bruce Hoffman and Kevin Byrne, public relations director for the Baltimore Ravens, will speak Friday on "The Business of Sports."

Gail Schwartz, director of the U.S. Education Department's New American High Schools Initiative will speak on the future of education and careers. Gregory Kane of the Baltimore Sun will speak on "The Media's Role in American Society."

The students will participate in interactive seminars, asking questions of the different speakers and meeting afterward for "rap sessions." On Saturday, the students will perform community service, joining in Baltimore's annual Serve-a-Thon. They will help clean up the city's neighborhoods and join in beautification projects.

- Bruce Hamilton

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