Georgia HOBY Newsletter:
Eighteenth Edition, June 23, 2014

Featured Alumni: 2014 Alumni
Haley Hubbard 
North Forsyth High School
My favorite HOBY memory is when we did the teamscapes. My group, district one (go gold!), blended so well from the beginning and aced all of the activities. The teamscapes really brought us together as a group and showed us how to cooperate and work together. It was a good bonding experience that made it easier to open up for the rest of the weekend.

Emily Bell 
Pope High School
To sum up HOBY in just one memory is impossible. The whole weekend was beyond everything I could have ever expected. From the crazy cheers to the unbreakable new friendships, each moment at HOBY changed me for the better. There was, however, one experience that tied the whole weekend together. As we all gathered in a big huddle, the facilitators formed a circle around us and formally introduced our last activity of the weekend, reflections. Anyone who wanted to speak got the change to stand up and speak about the experiences they had, emotions they felt, or even friendships they created throughout the weekend. The rawness and vulnerability each person expressed was overwhelming, and suddenly, every single person in the room became my family. Never would I have thought I would be crying with over 200 other ambassadors I had met less than 48 hours ago, but the stories each person shared brought tears to my eyes. Whether the story was one of struggle or not, HOBY truly did touch every person in that room, and through reflections, we all could finally see that clearly. And while I enjoyed every single minute I spent at Berry college, Reflections will stay with me as one of the most life-changing experiances I have ever had.

Anna Tumlin
Mount Zion High School
Picking one memory from HOBY as my favorite is probably the hardest thing I've ever been asked to do. However, if I needed to choose, I would say my favorite memory would be doing the tower activity. I've always been someone who didn't put my ideas out there unless I was sure they were right, because I've always feared being wrong. The tower activity taught me that some of my most genius ideas have been the ones I was too scared to share.

Haley Keesler 
Dade County High School
It is astonishing that it is so hard for me to choose a favorite memory from only a weekend seminar. Despite that though, something I will never forget and I am truly thankful for was reflections. To see kids that are usually reserved to share deeply personal stories, failures, and accomplishments with a few tears too was incredible. That is what lit my fire. It let me know I was not alone in my experiences and that I can move on from those and help others. I am humbled from those around me that took part in HOBY 2014.

Haley Hynes 
Marion County High School
My favorite HOBY memory will always be the way all of the ambassadors connected with each other. All 200+ of us let our guards down around each other and simply became who we actually are. It was amazing that I could talk to others without feeling judged my how I look, what clothes I wear, etc. I can not say the same thing for my High School. I learned what really matters is our qualities on the inside. I actually talked and introduced myself at HOBY instead of staying quiet, like at school. My group was also outstanding! *clapclapclap* HUH!!!!! DISTRICT 12 WOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! I feel closer to them than many of other kids my age. I would like to thank all of the new HOBY Alumni for making me feel welcome to open up and also, for being the first group of kids my age since 6th grade that weren't jerks. The new me can change the world, unlike the old me who was afraid to raise her hand in class. To everyone at HOBY thank you from the bottom of my heart! And I hope to see you guys again next year!

Julianna Kearney 
McIntosh High School
I walked onto the Berry campus extremely nervous. People were running towards my dad's car and yelling at 7 in the morning. What? But as the weekend went on, I became less and less nervous. Doing the cheers wasn't embarrassing anymore. In fact, I look forward to doing the cheers. I wasn't nervous to talk to the people around me. HOBY allowed me to become more confident in myself and my leadership abilities. I wasn't the girl who walked on the Berry campus about to cry from being nervous anymore. I became a leader who walked off the Berry camp ready to change the world. 

Andrew Freeman
Winder-Barrow High School
The groups were tasked with building a tower.  I was a builder, no words were to leave my mouth, and I was to follow orders.  The challenge was not my restriction on speech, but my desire for a plan, which was changing constantly.  This pushed me, and my awesome group leader, Megan Franken, knew it would.  This was one of multiple challenges I, and my district, faced over the weekend.  Megan knew how to put us in a position that would force us to think differently, and I cannot thank her enough for that.  She is one of the biggest reasons HOBY changed my life, as well as why I am out to make difference, why I want to be the spark, and catch fire.

Ellie Williams
Lagrange Academy
Seeing the words "my favorite HOBY memory" brings 1,000 faces, laughs, games, cheers, activities, and some of the most amazing people I have ever met into my mind, all at once. I miss everything about HOBY, but one activity in particular really stood out to me. WHAT BIRD ARE YOU?! That is the question! All of the groups went into a big room and sat down to fill out these personality tests. Once everybody was assigned to a bird, somebody from each group would stand up and read a bit of the synopsis for their bird. The possible outcomes consisted of peacocks, doves, eagles, and owls. I, myself am a peacock! To sum up each bird type, peacocks are usually outgoing and opinionated. They usually are not too shy. Doves are the ones that you would talk to about the deep stuff because they listen!! They are usually very sweet and to themselves. Eagles were said to be sort of the take charge kind of people, who knew what they wanted and how they wanted it done, which is not always a bad thing. Finally, owls were thought to be the more thoughtful people, who may have the best idea, but wouldn't be as abrupt as an eagle. I am sorry if I got some of these wrong guys, this is just what I remember about each one! The whole experience was so funny because just like our team leader, Payne, said to us, each group would act like their bird! When the doves read, it was kind of quiet and most of them did not want to do it. The owls were a bit less shy, but most of them would let somebody else read if they wanted to. The eagles were just hilarious! They cut each other off and acted as if it were a death battle. Finally, when it was time for the peacocks to read, we all stood as one and screamed the paragraphs at the top of our lungs, together. I thought this exercise was so fun and hilarious, and it was good to know which bird you were. It was a good conversation starter, and also good for different activities. Like when Payne made Montana, Larry, and me be the builders for the bridge because he KNEW we were the ones that would want to tell everyone else our ideas. Shoutout to district 15!!! I absolutely loved HOBY, and even while writing this I was smiling thinking about it all. I will never forget!

Fajr Malika DeLane 
Clarke Central High School
Words cannot express what I gained from this experience! I never thought one weekend could actually transform someone's life, but it truly can. The quote on our HOBY shirts read, "At some point, in everyone's life our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being." That quote by Albert Schweitzer truly manifested to every leader that was there and best summarizes the intent of the conference, to get student leaders recharged to lead even greater in their respective communities. While there,  the one most memorable moment for me was when I recited a self-written poem that I cherished dearly, entitled "Who Am I." In that experience I learned even more about myself, and was so pleased that everyone in the crowd loved it! I am truly grateful to have experienced such a blessed event and I am so proud to say I am a 2014 HOBY Alumni!

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