“Hugh, what are you going to do with this?” These simple words spoken in Africa in 1958 have ended up having such a profound impact on my life. These words were said by Doctor Albert Schweitzer to Hugh O’Brien shortly before Hugh formed Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership or HOBY. HOBY is an organization like no other where young leaders come together to explore their full potential and inspire each other.
I was lucky enough to attend not only HOBY New York West, but also HOBY World Leadership Congress (WLC) in Chicago, Illinois. These experiences were so wonderful that I am truly having difficulties putting them into words, which is weird for me because words come easily to me. One thing that I can say with absolute certainty is that my time as an ambassador at WLC was the best week of my lif,e and I was so unbelievably touched by every person that I had the pleasure of interacting with.
From the moment that I stepped onto campus at Loyola University, I just felt the entire atmosphere around me change. Everybody in the HOBY family is so loving and accepting, no matter who you are or what you have been through. I think that is because we all have the same fundamental beliefs on how people should be treated and there is just something beautiful about a HOBY person that is indescribable. It may sound silly and I know I have said it numerous times but it is true that I stepped onto campus as an only child and left with over 420 brothers and sisters whom I love dearly and I know that we are always there for each other no matter what.
Whatever you are passionate about, HOBY helps you realize your full potential and helps you connect with other amazing, inspiring people that also want to do great things and help others. The fantastic thing about the people you meet, whether they are ambassadors like you, facilitators or other hard working volunteers, is that every single one of them loves everyone in that room unconditionally and wants to help them achieve their full potential.
I fully recommend getting involved with HOBY or, at the least, contacting someone from HOBY to ask them about their experience because I can guarantee you that their eyes will light up and you will be able to feel that love that they have for this organization, for this family. It is that passion that draws people into HOBY because I can promise you that after joining our magnificent family, you will want nothing more than to change the world and we do that, one seminar at a time.
My biggest hope is that at least one person reads this and says, “Wow, I should really contact her about this,” or “Yes, I should definitely sign up for NYW or WLC” because if I can make a difference on that level, I would be absolutely honored to be a part of someone’s HOBY story. I would be more than thrilled to do that for 1 person or 100 people.
– Meg Frankenberger, ’14
Aquinas Institute of Rochester