Georgia HOBY Newsletter:
Fifty-Third Edition, January 30, 2016
Featured Alumna: Carmen Foskey '12
Had you asked me on the first day of my HOBY seminar where I thought I would be in 2016, I would not even be able to imagine what my life is like today. At that point in my life, academics were present but not a priority, and my social life seemed far more important than professional or personal development. Learning and leading had always come naturally to me so I wrongly assumed that my natural abilities alone would carry me through life. Luckily, HOBY helped me abandon that mentality and develop a life filled with incredible experiences and opportunity.
On my second day of HOBY, I sat listening to an alumni who was currently the student body president of the University of Georgia, a scholar in all senses of the word, and a recently accepted law student at Harvard Law School. His presentation contained mostly the standard, generic leadership development information, but it wasn’t the content that sparked my attention. It was the speaker himself, Will Burgess.
Will had found a way to harness his natural abilities, and more importantly, to harness those of his peers, classmates, and fellow citizens. He was a leader not by passive acceptance, but by actively working to change the world around him. His resume had not created his exceptional abilities to communicate, organize, and implement. Those characteristics had always been a part of him, but he had chosen to intentionally develop and hone his skills. And if he could do it, I could too.
Our HOBY weekend came to a close, but the opportunities for success were just beginning. I set my sights on an Ivy League education and began to work towards that goal. I was accepted to Brown University, but decided to defer my enrollment for a year to work on the campaigns for Senator David Perdue, Governor Nathan Deal, and Senator Bill Cassidy. In January of that same year, I moved to Philadelphia to work for a political non-profit, Turning Point USA. I returned home to manage State Representative Shaw Blackmon’s campaign, and when offered a return to Brown, I permanently declined my admission. I moved to Savannah, Georgia to manage the campaign for now-Mayor Eddie DeLoach and while there, applied to the University of Georgia so that I could continue to build my regionalized political network.
Looking back, it is quite evident that my weekend at HOBY, and specifically Will Burgess’s words and example, was a critical point in determining the course of my future. It was that weekend I decided to utilize my natural skills and actively pursue my goals and dreams. My life is today is exciting, riveting, challenging, and simply unbelievable because of this organization and I will forever hold HOBY in the highest regard.
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