Georgia HOBY Newsletter:
Fifty-Seventh Edition, February 28, 2016
Featured Alumnus: John Stauffer '14
Leadership does not just come merely because you have potential or ability. Without service, leadership can never be fully developed. After leaving HOBY in 2014, the theme of which was "Beyond You," I realized through HOBY that service is the one thing every leader must embrace.
Service means a lot of different things to a lot of different people and changes based on any given situation. At HOBY, we focused on how service establishes an individual as a leader. For me, this was the one thing I needed to learn in order to become a more successful leader within my community. Additionally, HOBY helped me realize that I could make a difference As someone who likes to do things correctly the first time and someone who delights in hard work and taking initiatives, I found that service was the one thing I was lacking, and I realized that my abilities could be applied for the benefit of other people. I am not saying this in any way to highlight myself; rather, I was ashamed that I had not had a HOBY experience earlier in my life to open my eyes to serving others.
I remember in my ambassador year sitting with more than 250 students at Berry College, and the opportunity had been given to members of the Staff to tell their service stories that were inspired by HOBY. My now fellow staff member Ben Lutz discussed how he helped to started his own non profit helping victims of bullying re-recognize their value to the world and to not resort to suicide while also striving to create curriculum in school to end bullying. I always had a desire to be involved in community service, but didn't know how I could be a leader instead of a follower in serving others. After hearing his story, I knew I wanted to start a non profit, but I was unsure of what the cause would be. I filed that thought away in my brain for a month before I visited the town of Belloc, Haiti, where I came face to face with widows who were dying in part because they did not have food or medicine. HOBY taught me to identify needs and situations where I could apply what I learned in those 72 hours to make a difference in the world, which is exactly what I saw in that small Haitian village. After continuous talks with my friend Samuel Dumond in Haiti, we decided to form a Christian nonprofit organization to help serve the needs of these widows. While the organization Hearts for Haitian Widows is still in its formation stage, I look forward to completing our goal of serving these widows. Without the HOBY ideal of service, I would have never been able to apply a tangible solution to that problem I witnessed in Southern Haiti.
HOBY is service. One thing I would strongly suggest to HOBY members out there is to keep your minds open to new situations. Some of the questions I had about leadership during my time at HOBY are still open ended, but when you find an area that you would be passionate about serving, the HOBY experience will help you find an answer.
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