An Open Thank You Letter To Hugh O'Brian

An Open Thank You Letter To Hugh O'Brian

Thank you, Hugh.

Dear Hugh O’Brian;

You changed my life, just like you changed the lives of thousands of individuals across the world; and thousands of hearts are heavy after receiving the news of your passing. Dr. Schweitzer told you, “The most important thing in education is to teach young people to think for themselves.” You took those fifteen words and created the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Organization: an organization that has changed the world through enthusiasm, love and service.

I think I speak on behalf of thousands of people when I say we will make it our mission to continue carrying out your vision for the world, because we have adapted the same vision. You did not teach us what to think, but you taught us how to think, and because of that the chain reaction you started will never end. A passion like yours does not wither away, but is instead an eternal flame which will live in every heart you touched. You cultivated leaders like no other, and your organization will continue to mold and empower these young people, because your legacy will live on.

The organization you created is anything but an ordinary leadership organization. HOBY has become a safe place for thousands of people, and that alone is an irreplaceable privilege. The environment one is immersed in at a HOBY seminar cannot be found anywhere else on Earth – it is a place full of enthusiasm and passion, hate does not exist, love is given freely and service is valued above all else. This is the environment you created, and this is what we will share with the rest of the world.

You believed in the most “controversial” group of people in the world: young people. You believed in us so much, you dedicated 58 years of your life to cultivating us into the leaders you knew we could be. Thank you for believing in us, investing in us and giving us wings to fly.

The amount of thanks you deserve is an incomprehensible number which I will never do justice, but I, like many others, owe so much of the life I live to you. Without you, so many of the people in my life whom I love unconditionally would be strangers, I would not have found the place I belong, I would not see the world through the beautiful lens of which I now experience life – I simply would not be anything like the person I am today without you, Hugh. I thank you with all my heart for changing my life in the best ways possible. I hope to make you proud by changing the lives of others in the ways you changed mine.

“I believe every person is created as the steward of his or her own destiny with great power for a specific purpose: to share with others, through service, a reverence for life in a spirit of love,”-Hugh O’Brian. This is the legacy we will continue, these are the words we will live by and you will always be our hero. God bless you, and may you rest in peace.

All my love and HOBY Hugs,

A passionate HOBY volunteer

Cover Image Credit: Emalie Shaffer

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Options For Care Of Aging Family Members

It can be a difficult conversation to start, but once you get them to open up, they can be very clear with their wishes

Helping loved ones face the struggles of old age is a very difficult situation. First and foremost, you always want them to be safe and healthy, but you also want to let them stay in the familiar surroundings of the home they may have occupied for decades. It is an issue that involves both emotions and finances, making it twice as hard to deal with.

The best time to discuss this situation with aging parents or other loved ones is long before it’s necessary. It can be a difficult conversation to start, but once you get them to open up, they can be very clear with their wishes. From there, you must work together to formulate a plan to provide for their care as they need more assistance.

There are three general ways they can choose to receive care. The first would be to let them stay in their own home and provide care there. The second would be to move in with you or with other family members, and the third would be to make the transition into an assisted-living facility.

Each of those options has its relative advantages and disadvantages. You’ll need to weigh them with your family member before making a decision.

Staying At Home

This is often the most affordable option, even when 24-hour assistance is required. Should that be the case, most families will find the cost considerably lower to provide support staff than to move to a nursing home. It can be cheaper still if family members can set up a schedule to stay with the seniors, even if it’s just part of the time.

The home may require some modifications, which can be done by a construction pro. If mobility has declined, it may be simply a matter of building a few ramps, adding some handrails, and getting stair chair lifts installed.

With the support of a home health agency and volunteers, you can put off the move to a nursing home facility.

Staying With Family

This is the second-best choice for many families. If the senior can’t stay in their own home and meet his or her own ADLs or activities for daily living, another option is to stay with loved ones. This represents an acceptable compromise when staying in their own home isn’t possible.

However, this type of move still represents a big adjustment. The senior may have to move a great distance, creating concerns about moving and storing their belongings as well as about what to do with the house. If selling it is not an option, there will be some expense and effort involved in securing and maintaining it.

Otherwise, this can be a very positive option. The home may require some of the same modifications we noted earlier, but beyond that, the transition can be fairly smooth.

Assisted Living Or Skilled Nursing

This final option is best for seniors who require either some or full skilled health care around the clock. This could be as simple as assistance with bathing and eating, and additional physical therapy. A skilled nursing facility is a good option for patients who may be recovering from strokes or more serious injuries such as hip fractures. In some cases, it can also be a good long-term solution.

It is a step that takes some preparation. There are insurance and estate considerations to review, and the change in location can be traumatic for the senior. The family will also need to make plans about the patient’s home and belongings, especially since such facilities have limited space.

Making plans for the care of an aging family member can be a difficult and confusing process. It’s important to discuss options with these loved ones and get a DPOA in place before decisions must be made.


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How To Make Friends In College

The 8 easiest steps to guide your own experience

Like many prospective college students, the single most intimidating fear I had before beginning my freshman year was not being able to make any friends. While making new friends may seem like a taxing chore, especially to someone like me who is shy and a little apprehensive, it is not impossible (and actually from from it). Within the first few hours on campus after arriving for move-in day, I quickly realized my fears were irrational and that making friends was going to be one of the easiest aspects of college. While making friends is an easy process that tends to come naturally to people, here are some ways that you can better immerse yourself into the social realm in college:

1. Do not be afraid to smile.

A small gesture like a simple smile goes a very long way. Whether you are walking down the hall in your dorm, across campus to class, or waiting in line at the dining hall, smile. Other people feed off of your body language and overall vibes, and by smiling people will feel more welcomed by your presence. People who feel more comfortable around you are more likely to approach you and start conversation.

2. Be friendly with your neighbors.

Your neighbors are likely to be some of the first people you meet when you arrive to your dorm. Living in a coed dorm, I have two guy neighbors and two girl neighbors, both of which have become close friends with my roommate and I over the past few months. While you do not have to be best friends with all of your neighbors, it is good to have people you can rely on to be there for you throughout the year.

3. Join clubs around campus.

Joining clubs or activities around campus is guaranteed to help you find your place and friend group on campus. Many colleges have hundreds of clubs that meet every need and like of each student. If you join a club that you have a passion for, you are bound to find other members of that club who share the same interests and goals as yourself. These are great friends to have because you can attend club meetings and events with a buddy!

4. Join intramural/club teams.

The most common misconception about joining a sports team in college is that you actually have to be adequate in the sport. Intramural and club sports teams are more focused on having fun and making memories than the competition. So pick a sport that you love, start or join a team, and go have fun with a bunch of people who have the same level of experience as you.

5. Talk in class.

While talking during class is normally discouraged, professors often encourage it so that their students have the chance to get to know one another. If you exchange numbers with the people next to you in the class on the first day, that's a couple more people than you knew when you walked in. Having a buddy in class is also helpful because you can work on homework together, study together, and text them with any class related questions you may have.

6. Participate in campus-wide events.

Whether you attend a thon to raise money or a sporting game, going to campus-wide event is bound to help you meet people. These events give you the opportunity to meet people outside of your year, dorm hall, and classes. The people who sit and cheer with you in the student's section and the people who help keep you standing at an all-day dance fundraiser just might shockingly be friends you will keep for life.

7. Do not give up.

It may at times feel discouraging if you have a lot of friends, but none that you are particularly close with. However, with time you will find your niche. There are so many people who are just like you and who compliment your personality on campus. It may take some time to find them, but once you do you will have them for life.

8. Be yourself.

Remember to always be true to yourself, and to never attempt to be someone who you aren't. You will not make friends this way and will not be happy if you do. You want to surround yourself with people who respect your true self and love that is for what it is. Embrace who you are, and find friends who cherish your quirks just as much as you do. This will not only provide great happiness but friendships that will last a lifetime.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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