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Parent Testimonials

“Our son Nate had an amazing experience, formed incredible friendships and learned things about himself he never expected to. Thank you for providing these young adults with such an amazing learning experience! Well done!!!!!” -Melissa Spencer Pearce

“I would like to extend you and the HOBY’s organizers a big thank you. When my wife and I picked up my son Nicola at the University of Rochester after the closing ceremony, he was exhausted but very happy about the experience. I saw him getting almost emotional when he was saying goodbye to  his new friends. In the trip back to Buffalo he could not stop talking about the experience, the good people who met there and his strong interest to became a junior counselor for next year. I could not even believe what I was hearing! So, thank you again  to you all, which made this thing possible. I really believe Nicola has great leadership potential, and I am sure that HOBY is one of the things which will help him out in developing his full personality. – Mauro Genecco

“My son Anthony is a proud HOBY alum who continues to volunteer and support the program. It has made a profound impact on his life, and I hope it continues to do the same for other students to years to come.” – Karen Falvo

Amanda’s Story

amanda200HOBY…4 simple letters that have so much meaning and yet are so hard to explain.

I was first introduced to HOBY as a high school sophomore (1996) when I was invited to submit an essay on leadership and was ultimately selected to represent my high school. I had no way of knowing then that 3 days would completely change my life. I was exposed to other students who were just like me, and for the first time in a long time, I felt like there was a group of people who were as committed to creating change as I was. I was so touched by my ambassador experience that I chose to return the following year as a junior counselor and haven’t looked back since.

I have been involved with HOBY for the past 16 years in a variety of capacities: junior counselor, senior facilitator, World Leadership Congress facilitator and leadership seminar co-chair in 2006, 2007 and 2012.  People often ask me what is HOBY and the easiest answer for me is: Family. I have been with HOBY for half my life – not something a lot of people can say. I have made lifelong friends and many connection, and I feel like I have had a part in making a difference for a lot of people. HOBY is more than just a 3-day leadership seminar; it is a life changing experience.

My life with HOBY has helped not only shape who I am, but has had a tremendous impact on choices I have made in my education and my current career. I am currently Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at Geneseo, where I have been for the past 9 years. Geneseo has been a strong supporter of HOBY and actually hosted the seminar on campus for 6 years. There are many HOBY alums on campus from faculty to staff to students. There is always an immediate bond with anyone who hears those 4 letters!

So why HOBY? I say… why not?!

– Amanda Patterson, ’96

Amber’s Story

Amber Przybysz 200As cliché as it sounds, HOBY truly changed my life.

I came to HOBY years ago as a terribly shy 15-year-old. That one weekend and an amazing group facilitator changed the way I live my life forever. I found my voice and continue to come back each year as a volunteer to help other students do the same thing.

HOBY taught me so much my ambassador weekend and continues to teach me every year. I honestly cannot imagine my life without HOBY, and I am thankful every day that I don’t have to. HOBY has made me who I am today, and I am eternally grateful for that.

– Amber Przybysz, ’03
Pembroke High School