HOBY is a way of living.
Before I attended my first conference, I was shy and had a lot of anxiety about talking to other people – especially in front of large groups. Enter HOBY: a conference that makes you leave your cliché high school perspectives behind in order to build leadership skills. At HOBY, social status doesn’t matter; working together to build personal, group and societal leadership matters. You realize that the 100 students attending the conference with you are the type of people you wish you could surround yourself with all year long. It gives you the encouragement to change your high school, to start new initiatives and to seek to make your community OUTSTANDING. Every year that I return helps me to remain outgoing so that I don’t revert to my old shy ways. The friends and connections I’ve made at HOBY will be with me forever.
Don’t believe HOBY will stay with you? A year after my ambassador year, I wore my HOBY shirt to visit colleges in Boston and had school tour guides come up to me at Northeastern telling me they had attended HOBY. At my interview for a scholarship at the University at Buffalo, I mentioned HOBY, to which my recruitment and future academic advisor replied, “I went to HOBY New York East!” I invited her to speak at our HOBY New York West conference before I had even matriculated to UB! HOBY people get HOBY people…these connections will help you in college and beyond because alumni know that HOBY teaches teenagers how to lead.
If you have the opportunity to attend HOBY, either as an ambassador or a volunteer, TAKE IT! I will be forever grateful to the conference for shaping who I am today, for helping me get into college and for helping me make life-long friends.
Anthony Falvo, ’11
Irondequoit High School