Lincoln-Way Central student attends local and world leadership seminars
Wednesday, August 1, 2018

From June 22-24, 2018 Lincoln-Way Central sophomore Nicoletta Salvatore attended the Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership Seminar at Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois. Students participating in the event learned about both active listening and how to accomplish their goals.

Central counselor Alyssa Cannon nominated Salvatore, who competed with five other students in a Mokena Woman's Club essay competition in order to attend. The essay prompt required her to write about effective leaders. In part of her essay, she wrote, “Leaders are people who will leave their egos behind and not brag about their accomplishments and they always are responsible for what they say and do. Leaders do not place their mistakes on others, but instead they will own up to it and learn.”

When she found out she had won, Salvatore was excited and emotional. “I was so overjoyed,” she says. “I was speechless and shaking and crying at the same time.” Her winning essay allowed her to attend the seminar at no cost thanks to the Mokena Woman's Club, who covered Salvatore's $225 registration fee.

After attending HOBY, Salvatore received an email regarding HOBY’s World Leadership Conference (WLC). She says the conference was “a once in a lifetime opportunity,” that she did not want to miss.

From July 21-28, Salvatore stayed in a dorm room on Loyola’s campus where she participated in the WLC program. While there, students roomed with others from across the world while learning about leadership skills, interacting with professionals from various fields and learning about how to make a positive impact on the world.

In total, 420 students from 14 countries attended. “It was life-changing,” says Salvatore. “I never realized how much I can make a difference in my community by just opening up and listening.”

A year prior, Ethan Fazio of Lincoln-Way Central also attended the local HOBY Leadership Seminar. Since that time, Salvatore has connected with Fazio. Because of their positive experiences with the program, the two Knights hope to host a HOBY-sponsored leadership workshop for freshmen.

“It’s a platform for freshmen to learn leadership skills and learn how to utilize them,” says Salvatore. “Just the other day, Ethan was saying how there are so many potential leaders, but not enough of them have a chance to realize their full potential.” She hopes that through teaming up with Fazio, the two can influence incoming freshmen with helpful leadership tips and a positive message.