Honing Leadership Skills

Published 9:50 am Wednesday, June 17, 2009

CHESAPEAKE — It took as much time as a long weekend, but those few days studying leadership and teamwork have had a lasting effect on one teen.

A few weeks ago Megan Gilpin, a student at Chesapeake High School, was one of more than 190 high school sophomores from central and southeastern Ohio who were selected to participate in this year’s Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar or HOBY

HOBY was started 50 years ago by the actor most known for his work in television and movie westerns. O’Brian was inspired to start the youth group after meeting the famous humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer.

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Gilpin, 16, got to join the seminar held at Denison University in Granville after an essay she wrote on leadership was chosen.

“It is really a great program. Attending it taught me a lot. It was very motivational,” Gilpin said. “It let me meet a lot of different people from different schools who have the same ideals as me. I hope to graduate from college and have a good job and a family.”

Her winning essay focused on the challenges facing leaders today.

“The biggest challenges are finding time and overcoming peer pressure to do the right thing,” she said.

Gilpin, who is the daughter of Bryan and Becky Gilpin and granddaughter of Chesapeake Village Mayor Dick Gilpin, is looking toward a career as a physician.

The teen is already involved with her school’s extracurricular activities spending the past two years on the student council, the reading club, volleyball team and in Project Lead the Way engineering classes.

At the HOBY seminar the youth were challenged to complete 100 hours of community service within the next year. Gilpin and her colleagues already have a head start on that as they recorded books on tape for pediatric patients at Children’s Hospital in Columbus while they were at Denison.

“I will volunteer in Chesapeake and at my school, hopefully with the after-school program at the elementary,” she said.