Georgia HOBY Newsletter:
Sixtieth Edition, March 30, 2016
Featured Alumna: Victoria Culver '12
As so many of you, I never knew what I was getting in to when my high school counselor pulled me to the side of the hall one day and told me that I had been nominated to go to HOBY. The only thing that she knew about HOBY was that it was “a leadership seminar that would only take one weekend of my summer.” To this day, I can’t help but be blessed that I had been selected to attend HOBY as an ambassador, and I am even more fortunate to continue going back every year as part of the staff since my ambassador year in 2012. I try to live by the staff’s motto each time that I return, “Make it better than your year.” That is a difficult task to do since my first year was such an incredible experience, but somehow, together, all of the staff manages to do just that. Every year, I leave HOBY with a new light, a new spark, and a new generation of my HOBY family.
When asked to describe HOBY, my mind draws a blank. There are absolutely no words that can sum up HOBY and the whole experience. The only word that can touch just the tip of the iceberg of what HOBY is, is Outstanding. The word itself is pretty self-explanatory. The dictionary defines it as exceptionally good, marked by superiority or distinction, excellent, and distinguished. HOBY, and all of its participants are just that and more. When asked to explain what HOBY means to me, once I start talking, it is hard for me to stop. As cliché as it might sound, HOBY has been a life changing experience for me, one that I will never forget and will continue sharing forever. As I left my first seminar in 2012, I initially didn’t feel the magnitude of the change that had taken place over the 72 or so hours that I had spent at HOBY. In the weeks and months that followed, I began to realize that HOBY had sparked a fire within me, helping me understand who I was and my position as a leader, as well as identifying my passions.
Through HOBY, I have gotten more than just the tools and understandings of how to be a good leader. My favorite thing that I have taken away from HOBY are the amazing friends that I have made, though we are spread out all across Georgia. Even now, though it has been almost 5 years and we have spread across the country for college and jobs, we all still manage to keep in touch with each other, continuing to grow in our friendship. Every year, this group has grown with the addition of new ambassadors and staff members. These people are my HOBY family, and don’t know what I would do without them.
HOBY really does mean to me more than words will ever be able to express. And as I tell people who are curious about what HOBY is like, it’s just something you have to be there, see and experience for yourself to really grasp what it is all about. I am ecstatic to be returning to HOBY for my fifth year this coming summer and can’t wait to see what it has in store for me and the upcoming ambassadors. HOBY Time and all, I know it will the best one yet!
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