Merrigan honored, attends HOBY event

Merrigan honored, attends HOBY event On Oct. 21, the Vermillion SERTOMA Club hosted VHS junior Patricia Merrigan, daughter of Nick and Mary Merrigan, at the weekly noon meeting at the Silver Dollar restaurant. As a sophomore, Merrigan was the recipient of the 2004 Hugh O'Brian Youth (HOBY) leadership award.

The HOBY Leadership program was established in 1958 by Hugh O'Brian in an effort to motivate young people to more fully realize their leadership potential. The HOBY Leadership Award competition is sponsored annually by the Vermillion SERTOMA Club in cooperation with Vermillion High School.

As the local HOBY award winner, Merrigan attended the 2004 South Dakota Leadership Seminar held June 11-13 on the campus of the University of Sioux Falls. More than 70 high school delegates from across South Dakota came together for the three-day seminar.

All delegates had the opportunity to learn about and further develop their leadership skills through personal interactions with noted South Dakota leaders. In addition, the delegates participated in panel discussions and activities centered on topics such as entrepreneurship, education, communication and volunteerism.

Merrigan said the seminar was a truly inspiring experience and she found herself energized and motivated by the leadership activities and the new friendships she established.

The crowning moment for Merrigan came at the concluding banquet when it was announced that she had been selected as one of two delegates from South Dakota to attend the HOBY-sponsored 2004 World Leadership Congress in Washington, DC. This is the first time that a Vermillion High School student has been selected as a South Dakota delegate to this congress.

During the nine-day World Congress, Merrigan gained a much wider perspective of what it means to truly develop into a leader for tomorrow. She participated in several stimulating presentations on a variety of leadership-related topics and became much more aware of national and global leadership challenges. She also had the occasion to tour many of the national monuments and other historical sites, and met with South Dakota's Congressional delegation.

Merrigan said a highlight of the World Leadership Congress was being able to establish friendships with many of the nearly 500 students in attendance from around the world.

Back home in Vermillion, she has continued developing her leadership skills and is an especially enthusiastic HOBY spokesperson. She said she intends to promote continued involvement of VHS students with the HOBY leadership program and encourages all interested sophomore students to meet with her to learn more about the HOBY leadership award.

In mid-November the Vermillion SERTOMA Club, in cooperation with Vermillion High School, will interview interested HOBY candidates and select the VHS 2005 HOBY Leadership award recipient.

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