Category Archives: Volunteer Stories

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

Chase’s Story

chase“Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes. Five hundred twenty-five thousands moments so dear. Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes. How do you measure, measure a year?”

These were the words that rang in my ears on my flight back to Buffalo from Dulles International Airport where I had just attend the World Leadership Congress with more than 500 hundred other students.

This experience along with many other experiences with HOBY changed my perspective on life. Before HOBY, I was involved in very little besides school itself. After HOBY, I became very engaged in what was happening around me, and realized that I could truly make a difference. I believe the changes that HOBY instilled upon me is the reason I was able to get into my college alma mater Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute after high school.

Since HOBY has given me so much in my life, I make sure I always have time to give back to it. I am an alumnus of the 2004 program at New York West, and I have been involved with it ever since. Currently, I live in Scranton, Pa., and I make the trek to the seminar every year. And each time that I come back to HOBY, I am invigorated to want to change the world around me, and I am always amazed with how determined the youth of this program can be.

It is truly 3 days that can change your life.

– Chase Miller, ’04