Georgia HOBY Newsletter: Eleventh Edition, December 7, 2013
Featured Alumnus: Joey Paris '12
I knew that if I were going to miss final exams for some leadership conference, and then have to come to school over the summer to make them up, the program better as heck be worth it. HOBY exceeded my expectations and then some. After spending a weekend at the 2012 HOBY seminar as an ambassador for Marist School, I couldn’t have thought of a better way to kick off an incredible summer. In the span of three short days, I discovered that I was a born peacock (loud & proud), enjoyed the luxuries of the YOBAHVILLE jail (on more than one occasion), and even took a shot at riding the pony a few times. That one weekend had a remarkable effect on my leadership and is one that I will never forget. Perhaps one of the greatest takeaways I have from HOBY is that everyone’s leadership style is different. During the Tower activity, I learned that being articulate and outgoing doesn’t always constitute the best leaders. Though stressful and at times extremely painful (I, as a peacock, was obviously one of the builders and couldn’t stand being quiet for more than five seconds), the Tower challenge was by far my favorite HOBY memory because it allowed me to recognize the importance of having different types of leaders in a group and taught me that, in some instances, I need to consider alternative solutions. In the months since HOBY, I’ve learned that the dynamic but stubborn peacock mindset doesn’t always work out the best. Above all else, HOBY has helped me identify my passion for emboldening others, particularly those my age. I currently serve as my Senior Class Co-President, organizing my school’s Prom and our class’s Thanksgiving service project, among other activities. I have led peers on school retreats, befriended new Marist students as a Peer Leader for two years, and become one of the Co-Coordinators of my school’s tutoring program. On a more recent note, this past year, a friend and I founded Man2Man Boys’ Mentoring, a program designed to inspire and guide middle school boys, much in the same way that HOBY empowered me. I cannot emphasize enough just how grateful I am to the entire HOBY program and how much it has truly changed my life. I look forward to cultivating my leadership skills even more when I go off to college next year, and I’m excited to see how I can incorporate HOBY’s lessons into every situation I encounter.
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