Youth leadership skills lead Robson to England

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Mackenzie Robson travelled to the Hugh O’Brien Leadership Camp (HOBY) last year at the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown campus but this year she is going much farther.

Robson, 16, is heading for England to attend a HOBY U.K. conference and she will be one of the youth mentors. Her essay last year at the southwestern Ontario HOBY conference saw her win a $1,000 scholarship but she was unable to attend a conference later that year in Chicago.

Originally born in England, Robson will travel there this year for the U.K. Conference after being in touch with John Sharples of the HOBY U.K. organization.

“(Sharples) said ‘we’d love to have you as a group leader’,” said Robson, adding she was the only Canadian to come to the conference.

Mackenzie Robson is heading to a HOBY conference in England. She left today though the conference is next week. Robson, who was born in England, will also visit family during her time there.

Mackenzie Robson is heading to a HOBY conference in England. She left today though the conference is next week. Robson, who was born in England, will also visit family during her time there.

The conference will be held at Lancaster University. Robson leaves Wednesday with the actual conference being March 30-April 3. She will return to Canada April 10 and will also visit family in England while she is there. A scholarship is helping to pay for her plane tickets and a portion of her entry fee.

“I’m so excited,” said Robson. “It’s definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity, for sure.”

The group she will lead will be known as “Team Canada” with Robson bringing Canadian paraphernalia over for her team members to wear. She will also promote shelter boxes while overseas, as each member has to present a project they feel strongly about.

“(Shelter boxes) are sponsored by Rotary and they helped me out a lot,” said Robson, who is part of the Amherstburg Rotary Club-sponsored Interact Club at General Amherst High School.

Once she returns from England, she will also go back to the southwestern Ontario HOBY where she will be a group leader.

Robson was also one of the Interact Club members who recently travelled to Michigan for a “Peace Summit” with the local members having a clothing drive to help the homeless. They ended up collecting nine garbage bags of clothing and winter wear and that gave them the top prize among all the attendees. Their prize was a giant Rice Krispie square.

“It was worth it. It was funny,” said Robson.

The Grade 11 student added she is thankful to the Rotary Club for their support and the club’s support of the Interact Club. She was one of the Interact members who gave a presentation to Amherstburg Rotarians recently with each member getting a “Service Above Self” coin.

In a related note, the Amherstburg Rotary Club has also started a new Facebook page. That page can be accessed by visiting www.facebook.com/amherstburgrotary.

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