The Woman’s Club of Westfield recently sponsored Matthew Paden, son of Cheryl Sacra-Paden and Charles Paden of Westfield, to attend the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership program (Hoby)  this year. The three-day program took place in June at Kean University in Union and was attended by sophomore year high school students. Matthew was  chosen by the Westfield High School GuidanceDepartment to attend this event along with three hundred other students chosen from all over the state of New Jersey. Matthew will be a rising junior at Westfield High School this fall.

Hoby’s mission is to inspire and develop our community of youth toward a life dedicated to leadership, service and innovation.  The program included lectures, planned activities, programs and panel discussions adapted to developing young people with individual and group leadership skills. The students were given the opportunity to meet many new faces and to begin lasting friendships. Matthew described his experience as a very interesting time filled with many ideas for his academic and social future. It was impressed upon the youths that they have great potential to contribute  to our communities. Matt is also involved with the Westfield High School Key Club, the Oxfam Club, founded by Matt and his friend and the Presbyterian Church in Westfield.

The Hoby time served as a prelude, an introduction to college life. Founded in 1958, Hoby programs are conducted annually throughout the United states and abroad serving local and international high school students.