Barb’s Story

Barb attended HOBY's Volunteer Training Institute in Houston, Texas.

Barb attended HOBY’s Volunteer Training Institute in Houston, Texas.

“My cup runneth over”.

This is something I actually sing to myself as I leave HOBY each and every year; I come as I am each year to HOBY, worn down and unsure of what’s next for me, and leave with my cup full of hope, rejuvenation and, an overwhelming sense of good in our world. HOBY allows students and volunteers to come just as they are and sends them off as a community, and knowing they found their “people.”

I was invited to the HOBY New York West my sophomore year in high school and was utterly perplexed at the concept of what HOBY was, and thought to myself: Who needs a leadership seminar? I’m busy enough with everything I do at school… I will take those words back for the rest of my life.

The empowerment of self and others that students and volunteers gain through HOBY is, well, let’s say it: OUTSTANDING. The program and curriculum are developed in a way that allows students to blossom their thoughts into amazing discussions with other students just like them from all over Western New York and interact with volunteers and speakers who come back year after year just to share in this experience with students.

Volunteering with HOBY has shared with me the opportunity to find “my people,” people who will remain undoubtedly in my life for years to come. It’s not so much what I’ve learned as a volunteer or what our students learn through the program it’s the individuals you meet along the way and the opportunity we are all given to create an amazing community together.

HOBY gave me the chance to take a chance on myself and feel the amazing sense of encouragement from other volunteers and students and I love leaving each year with a fresh cup of HOBY to take with me when I need it most.

-Barbara Bianchi, ‘08
Irondequoit High School