“ HOBY without a doubt changed my life, and helped me discover that giving back is what I want to do with my life.”
During childhood, Mae McClintock had a need to seek treatment at Shriners Hospital Tampa, a non-profit hospital where no family pays for treatment. She had always desired to say thank you and wasn’t entirely sure how until attending HOBY in 2017. The conference’s three-day approach to building a well-developed leader allowed her to focus on her passions and tie them into her desire to help others. She left the seminar with a better understanding of her unique gifts and an idea that would combine her love of positivity with giving back to her community.
Shortly after, Mae founded South Tampa for Kids, a dance marathon with the intent of raising money for Shriners Hospital. With the help of her math teacher and a few friends, formed a committee that volunteered at hospital events throughout the year and raised over $4,700 to fund new equipment for Shriners. Five of the lifelong friends that she made at HOBY all drove from other cities to Tampa to attend the dance marathon. Mae’s math teacher Stacy Zuppa shares, “I approached Macy about hosting a dance marathon to raise money for Shriners Hospital for Children through a partnership with the University of South Florida Bulls for Kids. Macy immediately started recruiting other students. Not only has Macy been successful at motivating other students but she has also inspired me to make more of a difference in the community.”
Mae shares, “Without HOBY, I know I would not be as involved as I am today. After returning from HOBY, I hung my SMART goal on my bulletin board and look at it each morning. It reminds me of how much I gained from attending HOBY and motivates me to be the best I can be. Before attending HOBY, I was more of an introvert but the conference taught me the value of networking and discovering my passions. Through service, I have opened myself up to dozens of various organizations. HOBY instilled in me the confidence to get involved and give back, and now I lead others to do the same. HOBY without a doubt changed my life and helped me discover that giving back is what I want to do with my life. I don’t think I would be where I am now if it weren’t for HOBY and I am forever thankful for that.”
In 2018, South Tampa for Kids became an official not-for-profit organization. The mission was expended to help disadvantaged kids at local Title I elementary schools, with an emphasis on raising literacy rates. To address this need, they’ve installed book swaps at local schools and set a goal of raising $8,000, which will benefit United Way’s Early Literacy Programs. South Tampa for Kids now has a committee of over 30 members from six different high schools. Mae is hopeful that it will grow to be even larger in future years. Mae explains, “South Tampa for Kids has taught me how to run a successful non-profit organization, how to combine passion with purpose and how to be an influential leader and organizer. My favorite part of running this organization is the smiles that I receive when a child gets a new book or we are able to help a family through a rough time. This organization as a whole has been so rewarding and I am thankful that I had the opportunity to attend HOBY, where I found the spark for South Tampa for Kids.”
Outside of South Tampa for Kids, Mae also runs Get Loud! Break the Silence, an annual domestic violence awareness event. She helped establish similar events to seven different schools in her area, with plans for events Indiana and Rhode Island next spring. The events spread awareness of domestic violence to thousands of attendees and Make a valuable impact on the communities that host them. Mae has also committed time to March for Our Lives – Tampa by helping organize the march that drew over 15,000 people. she also serves as the head of the Tampa group volunteering at events throughout the Tampa Bay area to educate others about gun violence and voting. Through the Ryan Nece Student Service Program, Mae also went to the Florida Keys to repair damage from Hurricane Irma.
Mae believes, ” that a title doesn’t necessarily make a person a leader, but the action that they put forth does. Although I am the head of multiple organizations, I am aware that I need to do the dirty work in order to gain respect from other members. Leading involves learning how to delegate and trust others. I used to be known as a control freak, but I learned how to let others take the wheel sometimes. My adaptations have helped me become a stronger leader, but I think my genuine passion for giving back is my strongest leadership attribute. I don’t get involved to pad my resume, I get involved to make a difference, and I love what I do. I always have a smile on my face and my love for giving back radiates to others.”